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 fear did Saddam Hussein seize upon to hold on to power, as discussed in Chapter 2?

2. Aside from officers, which individuals are often killed in combat for their toll on morale?

3. According to Grossman at the end of Chapter 5, on which individual are the affects of horror in combat most psychologically damaging?

4. What city did King Sennacherib destroy?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Grossman reveal to be the most shocking element of crimes in the beginning of Chapter 5?

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

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

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

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

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

7. What factors contribute to group absolution?

8. How was the Roman centurion model more effective than the Greek phalanx, according to Grossman?

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

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

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 2

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 3

Near the end of ON KILLING, Dave Grossman turns his concern from military policy to policy related to the private sector, particularly the entertainment industry. Write an essay in three parts about the recommendations Dave Grossman makes regarding the world of entertainment:

Part 1) What does Dave Grossman have to say about the world of print media? Does he think that it has any effect on the youth of America, one way or another? Based upon this opinion, does Grossman suggest any major alteration to the way it goes about delivering its product?

Part 2) What recommendation does Grossman make regarding the film industry and television? Discuss the dueling concerns that the author acknowledges these industries have and the responsibilities they share. What defense does he offer against shouts that he is censoring art with these recommendations?

Part 3) In summing up his arguments regarding the entertainment industry, why is Grossman confident that these changes will go into effect? Does he think the public will demand them, and why? How does reformation constitute a public emergency in his opinion?

(see the answer keys)

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