Mid-Book Test - Hard
|Name: _____________________________||Period: ___________________________|
This quiz consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. In Chapter 2, what tactic does Grossman describe as key to training soldiers to fire in combat?
2. What famous study is cited at the beginning of Chapter 1?
3. At the end of Chapter 4, what physical reaction to exhaustion and hunger does Grossman cite?
4. With what term does Grossman describe the reticence of the military to discuss non-firing in Chapter 3?
5. According to Grossman in Chapter 3, why would racially and ethnically dominant rhetoric by American leaders have been unhelpful in the Iraq War?
Short Essay Questions
1. What role does enemy morale play in the choice to kill?
2. What societal and moral tenets cause guilt in an individual who has killed in a war?
3. What is a crew-served weapon?
4. Describe the Vietnam story of Chapter 4.
5. As discussed in Chapter 3, what is the emotional advantage of hand grenades?
6. As described in Chapter 2, why are snipers given the cold shoulder in the military?
7. How was the Roman centurion model more effective than the Greek phalanx, according to Grossman?
8. Describe the Lost Battalion's experience behind lines.
9. What are the primary components of Exhaustion as outlined in Chapter 3?
10. What warning about video games does Grossman make at the end of Chapter 3?
Near the end of the book, Grossman illustrates the hardship faced by Vietnam veterans with a hypothetical return home from the war. Write an essay analyzing this hypothetical. Which types of soldiers are represented in the scenario, and what other war veterans are they compared to? How are these two wars different from one another? Why is the Vietnam experience so much more conducive to PTSD?
At one point in ON KILLING, Grossman describes the roots of fear and group bonding that can lead to an atrocity like the My Lai massacre. Write a three-part essay on the factors that lead to an atrocity in war, using My Lai as a framing device:
Part 1) How does fear of an unseen enemy make atrocities more likely in war? Discuss the way in which this creates emotional distance between noncombatants and soldiers. How does a catalyzing event, like an attack on the unit, further increase the likelihood of this sort of atrocity?
Part 2) What form of empowerment is felt in an atrocity? Discuss how the active and powerful decision to kill those whom one suspects of complicity in suffering can empower a soldier. What sort of possible catharsis can occur as a result?
Part 3) Discuss the group cohesion that can occur as a result of an atrocity? How does killing unarmed noncombatants bond a group of soldiers together? Conversely, discuss how the decision not to take part in an atrocity becomes dangerous as a result of this cohesion.
Much of the book is dedicated to the vast majority of soldiers that are naturally resistant to killing, but Grossman indicates that a small number of soldiers feel no remorse after killing. Write an essay about these natural warriors. What do they all have in common? How are their lives generally similar, and how do they interact with less aggressive combatants around them? What separates a natural warrior from a psychopath?
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