Born Into Brothels, By Zana Briski And Susan Sontag 's On The Pain Of Others

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There are many ways to get a point across or tell a story, but the ones that are mainly used are photographs and narratives. The differences between these two are in the details because they both tell a story. When you tell a story with a photograph you tend to add filters. Sometimes you even choose to capture only a certain part of the story with absolutely no context surrounding it. However, with a narrative you are able to go into complete detail, be it personal or factual, as well as be able to describe all of the story by also giving stories and examples. We see examples of this in the film “Born into Brothels” by Zana Briski and Susan Sontag’s “Regarding the Pain of Others.” Narrative is more important than image because it’s been shown that photographs lose their shock value, but a well narrated story will keep producing an emotional response no matter how many times is been told.
In Sontag’s “Regarding the Pain of Others” she states that in Canada they would have horrendous pictures of smokers lungs on cigarette boxes, this would completely disgust the buyer. However she also mentioned that this shock and disgust would only last a while and they would eventually go back to smoking. (62) Actually, I have seen these images floating around on social media Sites and they are usually photo shopped with pastel colors and glitter with the word “kawaii” which means cute in Japanese on the box; it seems that our current generation of smokers has become completely apathetic about our health. Compared to the gore, horror, the fictional situations and real situations on TV, a picture of yellow and rotting teeth won’t affect people anymore. Seeing the ads in the train about a woman who had to get her fingers amputated shocks me at fi...

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...tates that the Japanese did during the retelling of the forty seven Ronin; this story touches people because it is part of their culture and history as well as the fact that the different ways of it being told is still able to produce tears and pain in people’s hearts. (62)
Photographs are able to give many points of view as well but by changing the lighting it could seem to have been shot at a different time of day; change the angle and it could look like a completely different thing. Although these two combined would make a great story, photographs alone aren’t always enough or reliable; they could be taken out of context and misinterpreted by the public. Because the fact that photographs are easier and have many ways of being manipulated, they don’t really apply to the ethos, pathos and logos of a narrative, which is why a narrative is more important to a story.

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