On Killing Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Dave Grossman (author)
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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

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?

Essay Topic 2

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 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?

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