On Killing Test | Final 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 what country did the case-study of Chapter 4 take place?

2. Which of the following is not a popular late Fifties novel or film that Grossman cites in Chapter 3 as a representation of a World War II vet?

3. What is different about the way the way the hypothetical World War II and Vietnam vets returned home in Chapter 3?

4. In the anecdote at the beginning of Chapter 3, what is the soldier surprised he did in his first firefight?

5. In Chapter 3, what does Grossman delineate as a voice of authority in modern youth killing?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the three categories of atrocity as delineated in Chapter 1?

2. In Chapter 6, what factors contribute to a soldier's decision to kill in the chart presented and discussed?

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

4. What evidence does Grossman provide that violence among youth has increased dramatically since the 1950s?

5. How did John Foster rationalize killing a VC in Chapter 1?

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

7. What examples from Chapter 6 illustrate a problematic relationship with women in the military?

8. How does Grossman apply the killing process to the national mood in Chapter 2?

9. Which essential qualities makes a role model desirable as listed in Chapter 4?

10. What factors traditionally assist in rationalization and acceptance after combat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Much of Grossman's book is dedicated to explaining how the Vietnam War was rifer with psychiatric casualties than any previous war. Write an essay comparing the Vietnam conflict to previous conflicts in several regards. What factors were in play that made it more detrimental to servicemen? What support did they lack, on the whole? In essence, how did these failings manifest themselves, and have they since been addressed?

Part 1) Unit cohesion

Part 2) Mature, experienced leadership

Part 3) Public validation upon return

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

Near the end of ON KILLING, Dave Grossman turns his concern from military policy to policy related to the private sector, particularly the entertainment industry. Write an essay in three parts about the recommendations Dave Grossman makes regarding the world of entertainment:

Part 1) What does Dave Grossman have to say about the world of print media? Does he think that it has any effect on the youth of America, one way or another? Based upon this opinion, does Grossman suggest any major alteration to the way it goes about delivering its product?

Part 2) What recommendation does Grossman make regarding the film industry and television? Discuss the dueling concerns that the author acknowledges these industries have and the responsibilities they share. What defense does he offer against shouts that he is censoring art with these recommendations?

Part 3) In summing up his arguments regarding the entertainment industry, why is Grossman confident that these changes will go into effect? Does he think the public will demand them, and why? How does reformation constitute a public emergency in his opinion?

(see the answer keys)

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