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. Freud, as quoted in Chapter 1, stresses the ascendancy of man's desire to what?

2. Chapter 7 begins with several vets joking about raping and murdering which public figure?

3. As described in Chapter 4, how did German soldiers surrender at the end of World War II?

4. In Chapter 3, an Israeli study says a hostage is much more likely to die if what?

5. According to Grossman in Chapter 3, what is the immediate reaction to killing from a soldier?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is punishment justification?

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

3. What factors contribute to group absolution?

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What surprising fact regarding soldier's fears in combat is revealed in Chapter 2?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The likelihood of a soldier to kill in combat is markedly improved if he feels he is not the only culpable party to the killing. Write an essay about this diluting of guilt. What is group absolution, and what components of a group dynamic make it possible? Why is a soldier comforted by the sense that others around him are also killing? What is a crew-served weapon, and how is it effective in dispersing guilt for killing?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Write an essay about the urge not to kill over the course of history. What evidence does Grossman provide that soldiers going back to the American Civil War have chosen not to kill even in the face of death by enemy fire? What tactics did these soldiers use to avoid killing? At what point in the history of the American military did the non-firing problem become readily apparent? How did the military react to this?

(see the answer keys)

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