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

2. What city did King Sennacherib destroy?

3. At the end of Chapter 8, what does Grossman say psychiatrists need to explore to treat traumatized servicemen?

4. What was the first crew-served weapon?

5. During World War I, what was the favored weapon of American servicemen for killing enemy combatants?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the strange story of the CIA guard at the end of Chapter 1?

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

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

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

5. As described in Chapter 2, how do children progress through increasingly violent entertainment?

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

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

8. In Chapter 5, how does Grossman illustrate the danger of refusing to take part in an atrocity?

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

10. What separates a natural warrior from a psychopath?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Write an essay about the root causes and addressing of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the American military? What step of the killing process is interrupted, leading to PTSD, and what factors are involved in this stunting of emotional processing? How does PTSD manifest itself? In what conflict did numbers of soldiers suffering from PTSD skyrocket? How long did it take the American military to address this concern, and what has been done?

(see the answer keys)

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