Literary Analysis: Regarding The Pain Of Others By Susan Sontag

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Death is a striking image that sits heavily in the heart, however an image of tragedy in the daily live is a much heavier weight to carry. Children filling up bottles of water in a refugee camp are horrific but when the location is in Africa is anyone really surprised. Susan Sontag’s “double message” (263) from her essay on “Regarding the Pain of Others” is shown in the CNN.com article “U.N. declares famine in Somalia; makes urgent appeal to save lives” due to the known situation of poverty, corruption, and a weak government. In this essay, I will address first the image and its connection to Sontag via censorship, and the shock value of the photograph. I will then address how the article complicates the photograph. Finally, I will address how both the photograph and the article complicate Sontag’s “double message” Sontag’s “double message” incorporates two parts “suffering that is outrageous, unjust, and should be repaired. They confirm that this is the sort of thing which happens in that place,” (263). This message means that the photographs show horrific tragedy, in specifically the “third-world” yet due to the eyes of the audience being the western or “first world” countries it is seen as a location…show more content…
This was not an unknown occurrence; there were documented proof that this was going to happen. So in regards to Sontag’s part about the inevitability of tragedy, this circumstance was not unavoidable just neglect shown by the western world on how the “primitive” countries live. This shows the self-interest demonstrated by the western world that cannot aid a country that is found in less than place and fallen into terrible circumstances. The tragedy is a horrific circumstance for all those being affected but many were able to get aid at refuge camps set up by humanitarian agencies and fellow

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