(2019, March 1). My critique: I think Susan Sontag hates photography. A prime example of one of Sontag's warnings about photos is, “Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato's Cave, still reveling, its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth.” (Sontag 3). The allegory shows that the prisoners in the cave only see an image of reality which is the shadow, but never the real objects behind them. And that is the disturbing part, a picture of anyone can be photo shopped in with a terrible picture, tacked on a wall for some creep to throw darts at, or any other horrible, embarrassing usage of it. Sontag relates this to Plato's allegory in which prisoner's in a cave see shadows of objects cast on the wall due to a fire, in effect, seeing false images of reality. New York, Picador, 1977. America, Seen through Photographs, Darkly. Sontag wrote Illness after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1975 and realizing how the language of cancer, from the disease itself to treatments and patients, relies heavily on metaphors (Grauer). Of course, this modern day was the 1970's, but many of the key elements described in the collection of essays still remain relevant. In the Plato's Cave story, the shadows cast upon the wall that the trapped prisoners see are much different than the real objects in front of the fire (Cohen). Academia.edu is a platform for academics to share research papers. They posses the same qualities as other paper objects, from their frailty to … Susan Sontag’s On Photography is one of the best studies of photography that you can find. Against Interpretation is a collection of essays by Susan Sontag published in 1966. The saddest and most horrible hold photography has on society Sontag explained is when people have a choice to save a life or to take a photo, they choose the photo (Sontag 11). Yes, be wary of the falseness of photos, but also think of one’s own judgment. In explaining what photography means, Sontag makes important observations that clarify caution when viewing photographs due to alterations or lack of information about what was actually happening while photographs were taken and photography’s powerful influence on society due to this. Photographs can be misread as evidence, or appropriated for adverse purposes. torkildr, CC-BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. 22 likes. . Photography has been hugely implemented into families and all institutions, as Sontag points out, “…not turning up for one’s graduation picture is a sign of adolescent rebellion.” (Sontag 8). Susan Sontag argues that photography does the same thing, appropriating reality to give people an image of it. This is Susan Sontag's second book on photography and, like the first, published in 1977, it contains no photographs. It delves into the idea of ‘transparency’, where photographers have eliminated the boundaries of art and are faced with the prospect of being free to capture. On Photography began with a single essay in which Susan Sontag wanted to explore some … Summary of ON PHOTOGRAPHY by Susan Sontag Introduction Recently, photography has become widely practiced as an amusement as sex and dancing meaning it not practiced as an art therefore being mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power. People want to save these images in their heads in order to sort information to relate to how the world is. She explains, “The camera doesn’t rape, or even possess, though it may intrude, trespass, distort, exploit, and, at the farthest reach of the metaphor, assassinate- all activities that, unlike the sexual push and shove, can be conducted from a distance, and with some detachment.” (Sontag 13). This study guide consists of approx. 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