Analysis Of In Plato's Cave By Susan Sontag

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One Picture: A Thousand Words How can one simple picture mean so much more then what is being portrayed? Why is a picture even being taken in the first place? Photography has become a huge influence on today’s society and plays a big role in people’s everyday lives. People are exposed to pictures on a daily basis. Whether in newspapers, social media, television, magazines, etc.; images are everywhere. Photos are used to capture a moment in time and sometimes can help tell a story. News stations will typically have photos to help show and support breaking news. Likewise, a magazine is full of advertisements used to help sell products, similar to commercials on television. But what purpose do photos serve outside of the business world? Many …show more content…
In her essay, “In Plato’s Cave,” published in 1977, Susan Sontag reflects on photography and looks at the meaning behind taking a photograph. Throughout her essay, Sontag makes important observations based on the broad world of photography. The observations she concludes warns her readers to be careful in how they view or interpret images. It’s not the image that does the interpreting of a picture, but rather the person viewing it. From the time a photo is taken to the time another person is viewing it, a lot can happen. Due to many different changes that can occur or lack of information and understanding about a particular image, a person can easily misinterpret an image they are viewing. One of Sontag’s arguments is the power of photography. Photographs are extremely powerful in the sense that they can bring people together and enable participation in each other’s lives. A simple photograph invites and opens the door into a whole new …show more content…
Some people may argue that this statement is true, it can make you apart of another person’s life; however, is the person that is asked to take the photo really apart of another person’s life? Susan Sontag writes, “[t]o take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability” (Sontag 471). The reason behind any photograph is to preserve memories. The person behind the camera is not necessarily participating in anyone’s life. Their sole purpose is to take the picture and hand the camera back to its owner. Some people will walk up to complete strangers and ask them to take a picture, but will the person looking through these photos later remember that one random guy that took that picture for them that one day? Probably not. Therefore the only way that Sontag’s statement is true is if it’s referring to the people that are actually in the photo. The reason why anyone would take a photo is to remember a time in the past. The people in the picture are used to be a reminder of the people in your life and the memories that took place with

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