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. In the beginning of Chapter 4, Grossman says the highest estimate for the number of Vietnam vets with PTSD is what?

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

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

4. In Chapter 5, to what group did the German defector interviewed switch?

5. As described in Chapter 5, natural warriors are able to kill without what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What is the Weinberger Doctrine?

5. Describe the strange story of the CIA guard at the end of Chapter 1?

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

7. What are the defining characteristics of a natural warrior?

8. In Chapter 2, what does Grossman say an atrocity does to a combat unit's group dynamic?

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

10. What examples from Chapter 6 illustrate a problematic relationship with women in the military?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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