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. What famous study is cited at the beginning of Chapter 1?

2. Why does fight-or-flight not come into play in a battle situation?

3. What is the unifying element that links all of the coping tactics in Chapter 3?

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

5. What term does Grossman use in Chapter 6 to indicate the method one uses to kill in hand-to-hand-combat?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the Vietnam story of Chapter 4.

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

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

5. What is punishment justification?

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

7. In Chapter 7, what comparison does Grossman draw between firing a gun and masturbation?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

At one point in ON KILLING, Grossman discusses the three external concerns that affect a combatant's choice to kill. Write an essay analyzing these three concerns. W hat is the essence of each factor? What gives it its power over the potential killer? How effective is it in catalyzing the killing and in mitigating the guilt that follows? Cite an example of this type of factor that is used in the book.

Part 1) Voice of Authority

Part 2) Group Absolution

Part 3) Attractiveness of the Target

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the root causes and addressing of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the American military? What step of the killing process is interrupted, leading to PTSD, and what factors are involved in this stunting of emotional processing? How does PTSD manifest itself? In what conflict did numbers of soldiers suffering from PTSD skyrocket? How long did it take the American military to address this concern, and what has been done?

(see the answer keys)

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