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. In the beginning of Chapter 3, what does the Vietnam vet assume is on the back of the picture in Grossman's story?

2. With what term does Grossman describe the reticence of the military to discuss non-firing in Chapter 3?

3. According to Grossman at the beginning of Chapter 5, what produces actual terror in really dangerous situations?

4. Which of the following is not a contributing factor in determining whether a group easily unites in combat killing?

5. How does the military normally deal with the problem of exhaustion in combat?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What are the primary components of Exhaustion as outlined in Chapter 3?

3. Which essential qualities makes a role model desirable as listed in Chapter 4?

4. How did military predictions regarding civilian bombings and psychiatric casualties prove completely wrong in World War II?

5. What is a crew-served weapon?

6. What role does enemy morale play in the choice to kill?

7. What surprising fact regarding soldier's fears in combat is revealed in Chapter 2?

8. What examples from Chapter 6 illustrate a problematic relationship with women in the military?

9. What factors traditionally assist in rationalization and acceptance after combat?

10. How did John Foster rationalize killing a VC in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Much of the beginning of ON KILLING deals with the issue of non-firers, a concern the military did not realize it had until after World War II and has been struggling to deal with effectively since. Write an essay in three parts dealing with non-firers and the military's response to them:

Part 1) Approximately what percentage of soldiers in World War II never fired their weapons? Discuss why, from a noncombatant's point-of-view, this seems absurd. What were these soldiers risking by not firing, and what sort of essential drive compelled them to risk this?

Part 2) Discuss the examples given from Rhodesia, the American Civil War, and the two World Wars that countless of soldier chose not kill. What kind of attitude was taken by fellow soldiers to non-killers? Why was the American military surprised by the firing rate of World War II?

Part 3) Upon learning of the low firing rate in World War II, the military made increasing this rate a top priority. What tactics did they use to do this, and how successful were they? How did this success manifest itself in Vietnam, and how was the process refined after Vietnam?

Essay Topic 3

At the beginning of ON KILLING, Dave Grossman pointedly lists his conservative opinions and prejudices, saying he wants to be clear with the reader as to his natural inclinations from the start. How does this affect ones reading of the policy discussion that follows? Do these prejudices seem to affect his domestic recommendations more than his military recommendations? How so? What ideology is he espousing in the latter sections of the book?

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