1930's vs 2012-- who's more gullible?
Through the course of this class, I cannot help but envision the words many authors have afforded me through their stories. Prior to the readings of this week, I would picture what was happening— the people, the places. I would envision them in my as I wanted to. This weeks readings, instead, offered actual images that helped display where the writers were and who, these people the writers described, are.
The two pieces I found most interesting were The New York Times
article, “ The Case of the Inappropriate Alarm Clock (Part 1),” by Errol Morris and An American Exodus by Dorothea Lange and Paul Schuster. Both pieces elaborated on the struggles of The Great Depression by using not only words, but also images. One on end, An American Exodus pairs the works of a writer and a photographer. It helps display how the pictures bring the realities of the struggling farmer to life. We see the people, we envision their life and work, and it offers valid evidence for the words. Having read The New York Times
article after An American Exodus, I began to question the uses of photography and the manipulative factors that come into play with images.
Do readers accept images, knowing the content may be manipulated to make a point? Similarly, are particular photographs chosen over others to make a writers point. Images most definitely support words; they help, as stated above, shed truth to what someone writes. If someone is writing about migrant workers, images of workers migrating helps ensure the reader will believe your word. Do the readers, however, take a minute to question what they are being given?
Similarly, in today’s society, with images being readily available at the top of almost every article and on many covers of books, do people expect and need these images to give validity to what they read. Are we so accustomed to seeing these images that we no longer question the honesty of what we see? Do we no longer think or question whether the cow skull was taken and placed on a desolate farm? I for one, never think about what I see. I see images and instead of creating an image, I know what I am reading about. However, another interesting point I would like to address is today’s ease of accessibility to prove, whether it be images, videos or people telling us on television, what we are being told is real and honest and true. With T.V. no longer being a luxury (almost every household has one) we are constantly given information with proof, does this then deter our ability to believe everything we see? In the 1930’s, they could not access information in the same ways we do today- where they easier to manipulate because of this? Today, the overabundance of information has either made society more accepting or more skeptical- depending on what outlet we are given (Star
magazine vs. Time
magazine for example). These articles made me question how I view images when paired with words.