Unit 3 Assignment 3 – Bryan Tran

Analyzing both texts from Gourevitch and Sontag, there are many distinct connections. One of them is the impact the government and media can have on war. Sontag talks about how the government censors television, and that only certain things are told to the public (Sontag 67). This makes it impossible for anyone to know the fully know the real story from just an image. An example that is used is the South Vietnamese general shooting the Vietcong because, from just the picture, we see a man getting shot caught on camera, yet the actual story was that it was staged (planned photo) (Sontag 59). We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, Gourevitch talked about how France announced to the Security Council that their objective was to stop conflict yet within a week. Naturally, France had already occupied a quarter of the country. ( Gourevitch 152). The reasons why these two examples are similar is because it is hard to base what is accurate on what we are given in images and media. Both parties talk about how, as war prolonged government started to censor photos and messages so that citizens can be distanced from the horror. Media is any war that can lead to very different reactions. An example of this from Gourevitch was when there was broadcast about the “genocide and that a million refugees had wound up in this nearly perfect scene of hell on earth,” this broadcast by itself caused the public to feel compassion and imagination which lead to the imponderable sprawl of febrile humanity at Goma. “There is no war without photography” (Sontag, 66). When reading this quote, I thought about the passage from Gourevitch about how the French were taking pictures of their soldiers helping the Tutsis because it seems that everyone’s intentions are different when photos were taken, from remembering the truth of war or something different.

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