Susan Sontag Writing Styles in Regarding the Pain of Others

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Perspective

On the topic of how humanity regards the pain of its fellow man, Sontag offers few conclusive arguments. Her perspective is introspective rather than didactic, analytical as opposed to rhetorical. While there is a sense that Sontag does have a moral stance on war and suffering, there is little evidence of the indignation that one might expect from so charged a topic. Sontag instead appreciates the complexity of the issue, asking far more questions than she herself is able to answer.

Sontag proceeds with a healthy quantity of skepticism. She is unwilling to believe, for instance, that the photograph is an unquestionable record of truth. Shots can be staged. Photos can be altered. Sontag is similarly suspicious of humanity's desire to see and/or avoid the suffering of others, seeing neither response as uncomplicated. In her quest for answers, Sontag is unwilling to accept matters at face value...

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