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 Chapter 6, Grossman points out that hand-to-hand combat creates awareness of what?

2. At the end of Chapter 5, how does Grossman describe the power of the edged-weapon threat?

3. Which of the following is not an animal that Grossman uses as an example of sexual dominating behavior at the beginning of Chapter 7?

4. In Chapter 7, what reason does Grossman give for the cultural separation between officers and enlisted men in the military?

5. Which of the following is not a sign of psychological trauma discussed in Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What factors does Grossman say are contributing to youth violence in Chapter 1?

5. How does Grossman apply the killing process to the national mood in Chapter 2?

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

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

8. What is a crew-served weapon?

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

10. What are the defining characteristics of a natural warrior?

Essay 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

Much of Grossman's book is dedicated to explaining how the Vietnam War was rifer with psychiatric casualties than any previous war. Write an essay comparing the Vietnam conflict to previous conflicts in several regards. What factors were in play that made it more detrimental to servicemen? What support did they lack, on the whole? In essence, how did these failings manifest themselves, and have they since been addressed?

Part 1) Unit cohesion

Part 2) Mature, experienced leadership

Part 3) Public validation upon return

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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