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. Which of the following is not a point of the Weinberger Doctrine?

2. By 1971, what percentage of evacuations from Vietnam was related to psychiatric problems?

3. In Chapter 2, what is a socially humiliating act regarding modern media?

4. In his anecdote of Chapter 2, what event elicited surprisingly violent action from Richard Heckler?

5. In Chapter 2, Grossman says the discussion of the killing process is most effective with which people?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. According to Grossman in Chapter 3, how can PTSD be treated effectively?

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

6. Describe the strange dichotomy between nudity and killing in Western culture?

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

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

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

10. What solution did the American military devise to deal with low firing rates in World War II?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

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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