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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. At the end of Chapter 5, how does Grossman describe the power of the edged-weapon threat?
2. According to Grossman in Chapter 8, what varies widely regarding those who recover from mental trauma after killing in combat?
3. In Chapter 2, what tactic does Grossman describe as key to training soldiers to fire in combat?
4. Which of the following is not a component of Group Absolution as delineated in Chapter 1?
5. At the end of Chapter 4, what physical reaction to exhaustion and hunger does Grossman cite?
Short Essay Questions
1. In Chapter 7, what comparison does Grossman draw between firing a gun and masturbation?
2. How is the dissuasive potential of familiarity discussed in Chapter 4?
3. According to Grossman in Chapter 4, how do soldiers deal with guilt and horror in combat?
4. At the beginning of the book, what personal prejudices does Grossman admit to?
5. What options are open to soldiers in combat?
6. What does Grossman reveal to be the most shocking element of crimes in the beginning of Chapter 5?
7. What surprising fact regarding soldier's fears in combat is revealed in Chapter 2?
8. As discussed in Chapter 3, what is the emotional advantage of hand grenades?
9. Describe the metaphor Grossman uses for fortitude in Chapter 6?
10. What is a crew-served weapon?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Write an essay about the urge not to kill over the course of history. What evidence does Grossman provide that soldiers going back to the American Civil War have chosen not to kill even in the face of death by enemy fire? What tactics did these soldiers use to avoid killing? At what point in the history of the American military did the non-firing problem become readily apparent? How did the military react to this?
Essay Topic 2
The likelihood of a soldier to kill in combat is markedly improved if he feels he is not the only culpable party to the killing. Write an essay about this diluting of guilt. What is group absolution, and what components of a group dynamic make it possible? Why is a soldier comforted by the sense that others around him are also killing? What is a crew-served weapon, and how is it effective in dispersing guilt for killing?
Essay Topic 3
In the first half of the book, Grossman discusses the gap in psychiatric casualties between combatants and noncombatants. Write an essay about this gap. What did the military predict regarding psychiatric casualties among the civilian population affected by bombing in World War II? Why does Grossman expect that these estimates proved to be wrong? Why did psychiatric casualties prove higher among civilians in concentration camps? What does all of this say about proximity and killing as factors in psychiatric casualties?
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