english2101 - tragedy, crime, and obstacles in life. When I...

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Angela Shamay Seeing and Writing- Response to Joel Sternfeld’s Photograph Joel Sternfeld’s photograph displays a run-down building in a downtown area. A message that runs across the building reads: when you take someone’s life, you forfeit your own. The run-down building has old broken windows and vandalized walls. The lower right hand of the building’s wall shows a painting of Jesus. Just above it is a bulletin board. A poster is posted on the bulletin board’s far right side and the message reads: do the right thing . On the sidewalk, flowers and crosses fill the space. Seeing this image as well as the orange cone may suggest that a tragic crime may have occurred at this site. On the far left you can some graffiti on a neighboring building which reads: Guilty Aug 23,1993 Life in Prison. I believe that Joel Sternfeld tried to depict the scene of a tragic event from a bystander’s point of view. The obvious run-down building suggests poverty, hardship,
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Unformatted text preview: tragedy, crime, and obstacles in life. When I first saw the photograph, the first thing that caught my eye was the message written across the building, when you take someones life, you forfeit your own. I thought about this statement and realized a murder took place here. An angry mourner might have wrote this statement as a form of revenge to the murderer. The murderer might realize the truth of this statement, since now he is spending his life in prison. This statement is a metaphor for the impact of crime in an impoverished area. The statement infers to the cold crime that took place here, the irony of vengeance and anger towards the murderer, with the eyes of Jesus staring at the bystander. This photograph reveals many clues as to what happened at this location. With just one picture, Sternfeld depicted immorality, injustice, and tragedy....
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This note was uploaded on 05/26/2008 for the course ENGL 110 taught by Professor Traps during the Fall '07 term at CUNY Queens.

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