On Killing Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

Dave Grossman (author)
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 181 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

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 2

At one point in ON KILLING, Grossman describes the roots of fear and group bonding that can lead to an atrocity like the My Lai massacre. Write a three-part essay on the factors that lead to an atrocity in war, using My Lai as a framing device:

Part 1) How does fear of an unseen enemy make atrocities more likely in war? Discuss the way in which this creates emotional distance between noncombatants and soldiers. How does a catalyzing event, like an attack on the unit, further increase the likelihood of this sort of atrocity?

Part 2) What form of empowerment is felt in an atrocity? Discuss how the active and powerful decision to kill those whom one suspects of complicity in suffering can empower a soldier. What sort of possible catharsis can occur as a result?

Part 3) Discuss the group cohesion that can occur as a result of an atrocity? How does killing unarmed noncombatants bond a group of soldiers together? Conversely, discuss how the decision not to take part in an atrocity becomes dangerous as a result of this cohesion.

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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