On Killing Test | Lesson Plans 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 test 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

Essay Topic 1

One of the tools that Grossman uses incredibly effectively in ON KILLING is the anecdote. Frequently throughout the book, he will illustrate a trend denoted by statistics and data by incorporating an appropriate war story. In an essay, choose three such war stories and analyze them. What trend in warfare do they illustrate? How do they subvert the tradition of war stories? Do they add an emotional underpinning to the policy speak of the remainder of the text?

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

At one point in ON KILLING, Grossman discusses the three external concerns that affect a combatant's choice to kill. Write an essay analyzing these three concerns. W hat is the essence of each factor? What gives it its power over the potential killer? How effective is it in catalyzing the killing and in mitigating the guilt that follows? Cite an example of this type of factor that is used in the book.

Part 1) Voice of Authority

Part 2) Group Absolution

Part 3) Attractiveness of the Target

(see the answer keys)

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