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On Killing Test | Final Test - Hard

Dave Grossman (author)
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 181 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Final Test - Hard

Name: _____________________________ Period: ___________________________

This quiz consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Grossman in Chapter 5, what component separates a natural warrior from a psychopath?



2. Who is Caspar Weinberger?



3. When does a soldier's guilt following an atrocity become completely unavoidable?



4. Which of the following theorists presents evidence concerning proximity of authority and peer groups?



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



Essay Topics

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?

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.

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?

(see the answer keys)

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