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. According to Grossman in Chapter 1, why is it easy for the wealthy to oppress the poor without feeling guilt?

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

3. At the beginning of Chapter 1, Grossman says he will only discover the distance guilt relationship as it concerns what?

4. Which Roman leader and writer does Grossman quote in Chapter 4?

5. In the story at the beginning of Chapter 3, what percentage of soldiers questioned said they were certain they had killed even one enemy in combat?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the Lost Battalion's experience behind lines.

2. What is punishment justification?

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

4. How did mechanical distance change the perception of war in the 1990's?

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. At the beginning of the book, what personal prejudices does Grossman admit to?

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

9. Why does the Vietnam Vet quoted in Chapter 7 choose to leave the army after six tours?

10. Describe the metaphor Grossman uses for fortitude in Chapter 6?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

In the first sections of ON KILLING, Dave Grossman discusses how a myriad of causes are often cited for causing psychiatric casualties in combat. He goes through them an refutes all by the trauma of killing. Write a three part essay in which you discuss the argument for and against several of these potential causes. What effect does each cause have on a soldier in combat? How has this manifested itself in the field? What argument does Grossman use to refute the assertion that it is the primary cause of psychiatric casualties?

Part 1) Exhaustion.

Part 2) Fear.

Part 3) Hate.

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?

(see the answer keys)

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