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 1, Grossman reveals that the majority of active World War II soldiers did what?

2. In the mythology cited at the end of Chapter 7, who is born of the marriage of Aries and Aphrodite?

3. In Chapter 2, what is significant about the Civil War muskets examined by Grossman?

4. In what war did Lord Moran fight?

5. What percentage of casualties did cannon fire comprise in many Civil War battles?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What factors contribute to group absolution?

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

6. What is a crew-served weapon?

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

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

9. How does the Yale electroshock study connect with Grossman's thesis in Chapter 1?

10. What options are open to soldiers in combat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the first section of ON KILLING, the author argues that the soldier has more options on a battlefield than simply fight or flight. In an essay, discuss these options and particularly the most common one taken: posture. Firstly, why is fight-or-flight not a legitimate choice in a fight between two humans? What other two options are open to humans in this case? What makes posturing such an attractive option, and how has the development of firearms only improved a soldier's ability to posture?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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