Regarding the Pain of Others Themes

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Consideration of Pain

As the title might suggest, the author is centrally focused on how people engage the pain and suffering of others. Of particular interest to Sontag, in part due to its particular interest to people in general, is the pain caused by war. Not herself being from a war-torn country, Sontag, like many Americans, draws upon secondary sources for her understanding, secondary sources such as art, photography and film. Sontag uses her once-removed experience as an opportunity to examine the manner in which she, and other like herself, understand the world. She realizes that, as an American, she is privileged. Most of the privileged world has little experience with war, and thus are ill equipped to understand the pain it brings. What little they know is gleaned from the newspaper or the nightly news: discrete, disembodied images that fail to convey the harrowing truth beyond.

Sontag notes...

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