The Girl in the picture: Bang Trang
A horrifying event can create such an enormous impact in people’s lives especially during wartime when society does not need more individuals to be harmed or killed. In the mid-1950s, a shocking event happened that left an unpleasant memory in some people’s lives which occurred in the Vietnam War. The North Vietnam communists at first initiated efforts to take over South Vietnam and untied it with the north under one communist government However, the United States disagreed because they thought communist practices would lead to aggression in other parts of the world, therefore the United States decided to help South Vietnam by bringing military and financial aid. Yet, more aggression occurred in Vietnam due to their disagreements (Phan Thi Kim Phuc) while its people were constantly affected by catastrophes from the fatal weapons. Meanwhile, during the Vietnam War, there were photo journalists who made an impact through their pictures. One of these famous journalists was Nick Ut, one of his well-known pictures was “Napalm Girl”, also known as “Attack on Trang Bang” taken in 1972. This image evokes such a feeling of sorrow and fear that can be easily noticed on the children’s expressions, while it seemed like they are running away from something terrifying. For that reason, it gives the viewers a sense of empathy by showing a small side of the tragic event that was happening during that time in the photograph. Furthermore, children at that age should be enjoying their childhood and by seeing this picture, it contradicts all expectations of their regular way of living. Therefore, the image is focused on the girls horrifying expression which gives the feeling of sadness shifting people’s expectations of how a child is supposed to act. This illustrates the real story behind the Vietnam War through the pictures’ which causes a change in Americans’ opinion towards the war. First of all, the most impacting feature that viewers can see in this picture is the sadness and fear that these children are feeling. As the picture shows, the children are running away from the big smoke that is behind them. The child in the front left side of the picture shows a sad facial expression because he seems as if he was running not knowing where to go. Children normally should be having a good time with their family and enjoying their regular daily life. Moreover, according to the article, researchers say “When the South Vietnamese fighter plane dumped its cargo of napalm on Trang Bang, Kim Phuc and several other villagers were struck. The attack killed some of the villagers and maimed others. Kim Phuc was one of those who were mutilated by the napalm. The substance fell on her back, chest, and arms and quickly burned her flesh away.” (Phan Thi Kim Phuc) From only looking at this picture, the viewers can see how deadly the weapon is, as well as the damage that it can afflict. Yet, there are only four people in picture when in reality there is a whole village of people who were affected by this weapon. Yet, this picture was taken in a deserted place where there were no houses but only road signs; the background also implies like if they have had been running for a long time. On the other hand, in the background a soldier can be seen coming out of the fog showing the desperation of trying to escape the deadly weapon that was thrown upon them. The background in the picture shows all the rubble and debris that the Napalm bomb left behind making it appear very dark and smoky. This bomb released on Trang Bang was developed in the World War II, and it was the weapon that the United States used to help South Vietnam to keep their land. This weapon was a gasoline-based compound that burnt about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The reaction caused massive oxygenation and produced lethal amounts of carbon monoxide; which would burn anyone who comes in contact with the weapon (Napalm). Any kind of weapon used against someone’s...
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