Sontag Reading – Summaries – Reem Fakhoury

Chapter 1 Paragraph Summary :

There is a need for further explanation within the concept of “we”, Sontag goes into how viewers are all different and identify with different parts of their identity, gender, sex, race, religion etc, also including the amount of privilege we have. With this being said, this also can lead to misinterpretation of images and their representation of war. Sontag states “The pictures Woolf has conjured up do not in fact show what war, war as such, does.” (Sontag, Page 9)

Chapter 1, Sentence Summary : Photography of war can be misinterpreted, however it still holds its strength and impact.

Chapter 6 Paragraph Summary : In this chapter, Sontag addresses the idea of humans interest in these gruesome images. However, she also addresses this idea of being able to understand the tragedy rather than being intrigued. Additionally, she also talks about our ability to disconnect ourselves from these pictures or acts. Some have become normalized Sontag states “As everyone has observed, there is a mounting level of acceptable violence and sadism in mass culture : films, television, comics, computer games, imagery that would have had an audience cringing and recoiling in disgust…” (Sontag, Page 101)

Chapter 6 Sentence Summary : Humans fascination with violent pictures, however, its connection with humans ability to disconnect and dehumanize with the acts we are looking at.

Chapter 8 Paragraph Summary : Humans non ability to differentiate and understand the difference between the importance of remembering and understanding these events rather than taking them in and forgetting after they are over. This lead me to the idea of history repeating itself, therefore, if we forget then it’s almost like permission to repeat itself.

Chapter 8 Sentence Summary : Remembrance’s ability to impact the future and perception of events, allowing them to become an actual reality.

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