Regarding the Pain of Others - Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

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Sontag considers the relationship between the camera and its subjects, noting that the camera can affect subject behavior. The photo op provided by Eddie Adams compelled Brigadier General Nguyen Ngoc Loan to orchestrate the execution that would become Adams' Pulitzer Prize winning photo. In most instances, however, the camera can only serve as passive spectator. Sontag ponders a succession of anonymous mug shots. Each face belongs to a person about to be executed, wearing an expression of certain doom. Like the photographer, Sontag feels, the co-spectator is culpable in his or her passivity.

Sontag notes that horrific images repel and attract, yet seldom stir viewers from their daily routine. She cites an article from the New York Times which, while it does acknowledge the horror of such images, also instills them with unnecessary melodrama. In effort to stir the complacent viewer, some photographers decide to...

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This section contains 415 words
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