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 2, what tactic does Grossman describe as key to training soldiers to fire in combat?

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

3. At the end of Chapter 4, what physical reaction to exhaustion and hunger does Grossman cite?

4. With what term does Grossman describe the reticence of the military to discuss non-firing in Chapter 3?

5. According to Grossman in Chapter 3, why would racially and ethnically dominant rhetoric by American leaders have been unhelpful in the Iraq War?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is a crew-served weapon?

4. Describe the Vietnam story of Chapter 4.

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

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

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

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

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

10. What warning about video games does Grossman make at the end of Chapter 3?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Early in the book, Grossman admits that he does not think women should work if they have children. Later in the text, he presents arguments that women do more damage in combat than good. Write an essay exploring the author's attitude toward women. What reasons does he cite for women to be left out of combat service? Are these arguments related tot heir abilities in there arena? Are then, in fact, judgments about male soldiers that fight with them? Do these arguments seem to be colored by Grossman's prejudices?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

In the first half of the book, Grossman discusses the gap in psychiatric casualties between combatants and noncombatants. Write an essay about this gap. What did the military predict regarding psychiatric casualties among the civilian population affected by bombing in World War II? Why does Grossman expect that these estimates proved to be wrong? Why did psychiatric casualties prove higher among civilians in concentration camps? What does all of this say about proximity and killing as factors in psychiatric casualties?

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