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Regarding the Pain of Others Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 4 Summary

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Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis

Sontag considers what it means to protest suffering as opposed to merely acknowledging it. She notes that the public has little interest in suffering caused by nature or accident, instead preferring images of human violence against humans. Sontag compares the yearning to see such horrific images to feelings of sexual desire, describing the urge as voyeuristic in nature. She reasons that only those capable of alleviating suffering, such as doctors, have a right to look upon it. Anyone else would be reduced to either a spectator or a coward.

The practice of depicting war as something deplorable, Sontag explains, is a largely secular affair, beginning in the 17th century with Jacques Callot's Les Miseres et les Malheurs, or the Misfortunes of War. The series of etchings depicts soldiers as both victims and victimizers, bound for squalor and destitution. Ultimately Goya would take up the cause...

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This section contains 557 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Regarding the Pain of Others Study Guide
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Regarding the Pain of Others 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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