synthesis essay - Whitehouse 1 Anna Whitehouse Professor...

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Whitehouse 1 Anna Whitehouse Professor Abrams ENG 103 5 October 2010 The Necessity of Self-Discovery Following Tragedy “Our Secret” by Susan Griffin and “States” by Edward Said present the argument that appalling events, such as the Holocaust and the plight of the Palestinians, are powerful enough to rob the victims of something so essential as their sense self. They show that this loss of identity affected not only those immediately hurt by the tragedies but also the generations that followed. With the use of photography and art Said and Griffin explore the repercussions of these travesties, one of which was directly caused by the other, through the stories of the victims who experienced them first hand in the search for the causes of their prosecution and also in hopes of an acceptable resolution. Griffin and Said both employ photography in their writing in order to illustrate the lives of the people about whom they write. Although “Our Secret” does not actually contain any literal images, Griffin describes old photos from World War II, family portraits, and even the works of a popular German artist, Kath Kollwitz, which were removed from museums during the Nazi occupation. Photography is an important part of recording history. “Photographs are strange creations,” Griffin argues, “they are depictions of a moment that is always passing; after the shutter closes, the subject moves out of the frame and begins to change,” but for that instance, that feeling, is forever the captured (Griffin 316). By integrating Kollwitz’ charcoal drawings into her work Griffin offers personal insight through her interpretations of the steadily progressing self-portraits and an intimate look into the emotions of the poor and downtrodden.
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Whitehouse 2 The black and white photographs included in “States” allow the reader a glimpse into the lives of those clinging to the last shreds of their identity while surviving in exile. Said’s writing weaves elegantly between the pictures revealing symbolism and deeper meaning. He illuminates the details of the photographs to show the despair hidden beneath the surface and describe a world of oppression at first unseen, “Lines supposed to decorate a wall instead for an imperfectly
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This note was uploaded on 01/05/2012 for the course ENG 103 taught by Professor Hannahabrams during the Fall '10 term at University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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synthesis essay - Whitehouse 1 Anna Whitehouse Professor...

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