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. What public figure's death is referenced in the end of Chapter 2 to illustrate the relationship of nudity and violence?

2. Between 1970 and today, what increase has occurred in the number of imprisoned individuals per 100,000?

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

4. Which of the following is not a factor contributing to a soldier's compliance in an atrocity mentioned in Chapter 5?

5. In RB Anderson's excerpt in Chapter 1, what aspect of Vietnam does he claim non-vets do not understand?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. According to Grossman, why do young people idolize entertainment figures more than police and politicians?

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

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

5. According to Grossman in Chapter 3, what is the difference between military killing training and that provided by video games?

6. How does Grossman explain murder-suicide in terms of the killing process in Chapter 2?

7. What surprising insight into Vietnam does RB Anderson make in Chapter 1?

8. What separates a natural warrior from a psychopath?

9. What hypothetical situation does Grossman relate in Chapter 3?

10. Why was combat in Vietnam particularly dirty, as described in Chapter 2?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Much of the book is dedicated to the vast majority of soldiers that are naturally resistant to killing, but Grossman indicates that a small number of soldiers feel no remorse after killing. Write an essay about these natural warriors. What do they all have in common? How are their lives generally similar, and how do they interact with less aggressive combatants around them? What separates a natural warrior from a psychopath?

Essay Topic 2

In the first sections of ON KILLING, Dave Grossman discusses how a myriad of causes are often cited for causing psychiatric casualties in combat. He goes through them an refutes all by the trauma of killing. Write a three part essay in which you discuss the argument for and against several of these potential causes. What effect does each cause have on a soldier in combat? How has this manifested itself in the field? What argument does Grossman use to refute the assertion that it is the primary cause of psychiatric casualties?

Part 1) Exhaustion.

Part 2) Fear.

Part 3) Hate.

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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