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On Photography Chapter Summary & Analysis - In Plato's Cave Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On Photography.
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In Plato's Cave Summary and Analysis

Sontag's 1977 monograph On Photography is composed of six named chapters, or essays, which form a weakly related progression from conceptualization through history and implementation, to the then-current understanding of photography as a process and an art form. Sontag suggests that the central tension in all of photography is one of self-identification—is it a merely a mimetic program of using a machine to manufacture representative images, or is it a high art equivalent to painting?

The chapter title is an allusion to an aspect of the philosophy of Plato, which is not discussed in the text. Briefly, in The Republic of Plato used an allegory of a cave in which prisoners are chained facing a wall whereupon shadows of real objects are cast. The prisoners see only the shadows and believe them to be the totality of reality. Sontag playfully...

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This section contains 685 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our On Photography Study Guide
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On Photography from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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