Regarding the Pain of Others Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. According to Sontag, why do images of atrocities fail to convey a singular, universal message?
(a) They require context and explanation.
(b) They are too graphic.
(c) They inspire only disgust.
(d) They are inappropriate for mass publication.

2. How many images did the "Here Is New York" exhibit originally receive?
(a) More than one thousand.
(b) Less five hundred.
(c) More than one million.
(d) Less than one hundred.

3. Sontag, confirming Walter Lippmann's assertion, argues that photography replaced which of the following media for representing the truth?
(a) Scientific studies.
(b) Religious texts such as the Bible.
(c) Eye-witness testimonies.
(d) Artistic representations such as paintings or drawings.

4. Sontag argues that a photograph by which of these photographers triggered mass outcry against the Vietnam War?
(a) Ernst Friedrich.
(b) Larry Burroughs.
(c) Robert Capa.
(d) Henri Cartier-Bresson.

5. Which was the first war to be "covered" by professional war journalists at the front lines?
(a) World War I.
(b) The American Civil War.
(c) The Spanish Civil War.
(d) World War II.

Short Answer Questions

1. Sontag argues that the most extensive kind of censorship is which of the following?

2. The conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s stood out to many onlookers for which of the following reasons?

3. Which of the following magazines was NOT devoted entirely to photography?

4. Sontag claims that Jacques Callot's 1633 painting, "The Miseries and Misfortunes of War" was unprecedented for which of the following reasons?

5. Sontag argues that we are most disappointed to discover that which type of photographs have been staged?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Sontag mean when she claimed that the memory of war is mostly local? What does this mean for international news firms?

2. Explain the connection Sontag made between religious narratives and iconography and the Western understanding of images of suffering. Discuss at least one example from the text.

3. Explain the purpose of photography collections such as Ernst Friedrich's "Krieg dem Kriege!" (War Against War!), and discuss how these works attempt to achieve this end.

4. According to Sontag, how are photographs of victims a form of rhetoric? What is their purpose or message? How do they function to convey this message?

5. According to Sontag, how do mass Hollywood productions influence the public's perception of catastrophic or horrific events?

6. According to Sontag, do people prefer artistic renderings or straight-forward representations of atrocities? Why?

7. Discuss the significance of "Here is New York," the exhibit of photographs taken on September 11th during the collapse of the World Trade Center.

8. Discuss the significance of the Magnum Photo Agency, founded in Paris in 1947. What was the group initially founded to do? How did they influence the development of photojournalism?

9. Sontag asserted that "cameras have always kept company with death." What did she mean by this assertion?

10. Using the example of genocides and AIDS in Africa, Sontag argued that images of suffering in far-off places carry a double meaning. What is this double meaning?

(see the answer keys)

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