On Killing Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Dave Grossman (author)
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following is not a component of Group Absolution as delineated in Chapter 1?

2. In the final story of Chapter 4, the one in which an American and Viet Cong soldier happen upon each other, who is killed?

3. In the World War II stories of Chapter 4, what do soldiers do to avoid killing?

4. In Chapter 2, what tactic does Grossman describe as key to training soldiers to fire in combat?

5. In Chapter 4, what World War II battle does Grossman cite as an example of hunger deciding combat?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is the dissuasive potential of familiarity discussed in Chapter 4?

2. What inefficiency of edged-weapon combat does Grossman reveal in Chapter 5?

3. As discussed in Chapter 3, what is the emotional advantage of hand grenades?

4. In Chapter 4, what philosophical and literary justifications for killing does Grossman cite?

5. What assertion regarding military psychiatrists does Grossman make at the end of Chapter 8?

6. As described in Chapter 2, why are snipers given the cold shoulder in the military?

7. What societal and moral tenets cause guilt in an individual who has killed in a war?

8. How does Grossman use his distance-guilt corollary to explain the oppression of the poor in Chapter 1?

9. What is surprising about the study cited in Chapter 1 regarding what compels soldiers to shoot?

10. How does the Yale electroshock study connect with Grossman's thesis in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

One of the tools that Grossman uses incredibly effectively in ON KILLING is the anecdote. Frequently throughout the book, he will illustrate a trend denoted by statistics and data by incorporating an appropriate war story. In an essay, choose three such war stories and analyze them. What trend in warfare do they illustrate? How do they subvert the tradition of war stories? Do they add an emotional underpinning to the policy speak of the remainder of the text?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

A major subject and tonal shift occurs in the last third of ON KILLING when Dave Grossman turns his attention away from the military and toward civilian life. Write an essay about Grossman's opinions about modern American culture. How is the culture conditioning young people to be violent? How have traditional defenses against this deteriorated? What evidence does the author use to argue his points?

(see the answer keys)

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