On Photography Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is the significance of the title of this particular chapter of this Susan Sontag book?

The title of this chapter, "In Plato's Cave," is a reference to a story Plato tells about a cave in which prisoners are chained to a wall and are only able to see the shadows of real things.

2. What does Susan Sontag suggest that photography has made society do in relation to reality?

Sontag suggests, playfully, that photography has made humanity unable to perceive the totality of reality.

3. What has photography established, according to Sontag in this chapter in relation to how objects are seen?

Photography has established the standard of what is worth looking at and what is allowable as an object of inspection.

4. What do photographs do to the scale of an object within the photograph and in real life, according to Sontag?

Photographs warp a person's sense of scale, as they are nearly always minute compared to the photographic subject.

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