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 component of Group Absolution as delineated in Chapter 1?

2. In the World War II study cited in Chapter 1, how much would soldier firing decrease when leadership was not nearby?

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

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

5. In terms of effective leadership, what disadvantage do mercenaries and gang leaders have?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is a crew-served weapon?

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

3. What factors contribute to group absolution?

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

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

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

7. What does hard-to-soft mean?

8. Why does the Vietnam Vet quoted in Chapter 7 choose to leave the army after six tours?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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