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. Ultimately, Sontag claims that war is:
(a) Tragic.
(b) Avoidable.
(c) Horrific.
(d) Perennial.

2. Sontag argues that the photograph, unlike the written word, is:
(a) Subject to interpretation.
(b) Artistically inferior.
(c) Politically charged.
(d) Always objective.

3. Sontag discusses the use of images of the dead to bolster hatred of the enemy. Which of the following recent events, aired on the Al Jazeera network, does she use as an example?
(a) The hanging of Sadam Hussein.
(b) The destruction of the Word Trade Center in 2001.
(c) The invasion of Iraq in 2003.
(d) The destruction of the Jenin refugee camp in 2002.

4. Which of the following was NOT true of the "Here Is New York" exhibit?
(a) Images were selected on a first-come, first-serve basis.
(b) The images were displayed uncaptioned.
(c) The identity of the photographer was kept secret until after the image was purchased.
(d) One image from each contributer was selected.

5. The footage from a 1898 charge of Colonel Roosevelt's volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders, was replaced with film of a staged charge later for which of the following reasons?
(a) The photographer lost the film reel.
(b) Colonel Roosevelt was unsatisfied with the footage.
(c) The lighting on the day of the event was insufficient.
(d) The footage of the actual event was not dramatic enough.

Short Answer Questions

1. Sontag calls for the reader's sympathy for the wounded Taliban soldier whose pain graced the cover of "The New York Times" by suggesting which of the following?

2. Sontag discusses one year in European history in which the photograph was able to truly capture the nature of human atrocities. Which year was it?

3. Sontag observes that "Here Is New York" had no need for captions, but suggests that:

4. The mass media bombarded viewers with shocking images because:

5. Although the camera captures the scene in front of it, Sontag suggests that the ______ may manipulate the image.

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Sontag, how are standards for journalism determined in an era of tele-controlled warfare?

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

3. Discuss the reaction of the British public to the image of trenches of unburied bodies taken 10 days after a British defeat during the Boer War. What does this reaction say about the sensibility of the public?

4. Sontag compared the photograph to a maxim or a proverb. Explain this comparison. What does it tell us about the nature or impact of photographs?

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

6. Discuss the controversy surrounding the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002. What was the main conflict?

7. How did war journalism change during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39)? How did the coverage of this war more closely resemble modern media coverage of conflicts?

8. Why do images of pain challenge us to look without flinching? According to Sontag, what purpose does this serve?

9. Explain how being a "spectator of calamities" occurring in far-off places is a "quintessentially modern experience."

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

(see the answer keys)

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