Errol Morris Will The Real Hooded Man Please Stand Up?

1913 Words 8 Pages
Media, in the forms of photography, film, and writing are similar in that they often reveal a particular message, or comment on a societal aspect. For some, these messages may be underlying, while in others, they are evident and transparent. This idea helps distinguishes differences in media. Photography is widely open for interpretation. In the case of Errol Morris’ “Will the Real Hooded Man Please Stand Up?” the lack of context and textual clues make it hard to discern what was true or what the photograph claimed to show. This idea of truth is a notion Morris continues to comment on throughout his piece. He does not merely talk about truth in the context of the photographs he’s discussing, but instead truth as a universal topic, a topic we …show more content…
Photographs, in particular, are limiting in nature in that the there is more behind them then what we can see. Morris notes that often times photographs can provoke “uncritical thinking” (Morris 26) when trying to learn the truth or purpose of something, in this case, the Hooded Man images. These photographs are nonfictional, as they portray events that actually took place. These images were found on news websites and television programs, which were validated by reputable sources such as the New York Times. The medium of how these images were portrayed, the news, caused people to uncritically and undoubtedly accept their existence and truth. When an audience thinks “uncritically” engagement is absent. People tend to resist ideas that challenge their own and shy away from curiosity and questioning. As an audience, we must think critically to get any truth from photographs. In order to think critically, context is required. Context can include who the photographer is, where or when the picture was taken, or what it is portraying Context could also even be questioning the credibility of the picture’s source. Without context, we are more likely to make errors in identification when making inferences. P Morris takes readers through the story of “Hooded Man” and how he was misidentified, to show how this form of media and the medium of how something is presented, can distort our …show more content…
Similarly to Morris’s notion of”uncritical truth”, an audience may just assume that many of the events Anzaldúa described are real and did in fact happen. However, the medium of memoirs don’t simply just recall and repeat the history of one’s life, instead they enhance it. Authors often embellish certain areas of their life to seem more dramatic when trying to make a point or comment. This can make the truth hard to distinguish. There is no real way to validate the actions, events, feelings, and emotions found within the writing of a memoir. Memoirs differ from fiction in that the importance of facts are different. We don’t tend to look at the actions and events Anzaldúa describes and try to refute them, we accept them. This creates a different definition of

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