River Of Shadows Analysis

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Rebecca Solnit illustrated the development of new technologies during the 1800s in “The Annihilation of Time and Space,” which is excerpted from her interesting historical book, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West. In the article, Solnit argued the invention of photography, railroad, and telegraphy, which greatly impact people’s life by changing time and space. Through the paper, Solnit used other historical scholarships as evidence to support her thoughts. The intended audiences would be those people who interest in technology development and Muybridge’s life. Solnit connected Eadweard Muybridge’s life and the invention of new technologies by believing that “Muybridge was a doorway, a pivot between that old world and ours, and to follow him is to follow the choices that got us here” (19). Solnit broke her paper into four parts. The first part indicated Muybridge’s contribution to photography and its effects. The second part discussed the railroad and its influence. The third part talked about the process of photography development. The last part showed the invention of telegraphy. Although Solnit connected Muybridge’s life with these new technologies, she made strong connections with photography and railroad, while a weak linkage with telegraphy.
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Photography can freeze a moment and save it forever. Each photograph was a witness, which shortened the distance between other people and the one who experienced the moment. Similarly, the railroad changed the distance and time by increasing the speed of transportation. Thus, people felt that the distance decreased due to the less spending of time. As the fastest communication technology in the 1800s, telegraph reduced the distance further by minimizing the time spent in message

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