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 was new about the enemy composition in Vietnam as opposed to previous wars?

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

3. What mistaken impression did the ex-CIA officer whose story appears at the end of Chapter 1 have about his prisoner?

4. Which of the following is not a psychological process for enabling killing as set out in Chapter 1?

5. According to Grossman in Chapter 1, what was the solution the American military's solution after World War II to many soldiers more willing to shoot?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the Weinberger Doctrine?

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

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

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

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

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

8. What changes have occurred in recent years to mitigate the psychiatric casualties of Vietnam?

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

10. What factors does Grossman say are contributing to youth violence in Chapter 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A major subject and tonal shift occurs in the last third of ON KILLING when Dave Grossman turns his attention away from the military and toward civilian life. Write an essay about Grossman's opinions about modern American culture. How is the culture conditioning young people to be violent? How have traditional defenses against this deteriorated? What evidence does the author use to argue his points?

Essay Topic 2

Perhaps the centerpiece of Grossman's research, the killing process, through which the author explains how a person chooses to kill and then processes the killing - or inability to kill - after, is the subject of most of the second half of the book. Write a three-part essay about this process:

Part 1) Begin the essay by discussing the steps in the killing process. Where does it begin and, ideally, how does a killer resolve the act and its emotional repercussions? Must a killer go through all of the steps in the process?

Part 2) Using the fallout of the Vietnam War as a model, discuss what happens when the latter steps of the process are stunted? What factors are key in allowing a killer to rationalize and accept that he has killed? How were these denied to Vietnam vets?

Part 3) At one point in ON KILLING, Dave Grossman applies the killing process to an entire culture, namely America after two wars of the twentieth century. Discuss the way America collectively processed killing after Hiroshima and the first Gulf War. How did this process affect American leadership?

Essay Topic 3

Much of the beginning of ON KILLING deals with the issue of non-firers, a concern the military did not realize it had until after World War II and has been struggling to deal with effectively since. Write an essay in three parts dealing with non-firers and the military's response to them:

Part 1) Approximately what percentage of soldiers in World War II never fired their weapons? Discuss why, from a noncombatant's point-of-view, this seems absurd. What were these soldiers risking by not firing, and what sort of essential drive compelled them to risk this?

Part 2) Discuss the examples given from Rhodesia, the American Civil War, and the two World Wars that countless of soldier chose not kill. What kind of attitude was taken by fellow soldiers to non-killers? Why was the American military surprised by the firing rate of World War II?

Part 3) Upon learning of the low firing rate in World War II, the military made increasing this rate a top priority. What tactics did they use to do this, and how successful were they? How did this success manifest itself in Vietnam, and how was the process refined after Vietnam?

(see the answer keys)

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