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. Noting the long history of the "iconography of suffering," Sontag lists three types of art which depict incredible agony. Which of the following is NOT one of them?
(a) Images of the martyrdom of the Christian saints.
(b) The Pieta.
(c) The statue of Laocoon and his sons.
(d) Images and scultpures of the Passion of Christ.

2. Photographic representations of the Vietnam War was essential to promoting:
(a) Patriotic sentiment.
(b) International relations.
(c) New methods of communication.
(d) The anti-war movement.

3. According to Sontag, _________ also influences the public's perception of war.
(a) Hollywood.
(b) Government policies.
(c) Education.
(d) Anti-war sentiment.

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

5. Faced with "information overload," people remember a photograph because it is a quick way of storing information, much like which of the following strategies?
(a) Quotations, mnenics and memory games.
(b) Jingles, mnemonics and rhymes.
(c) Quotations, maxims and proverbs.
(d) Maxims, proverbs and songs.

Short Answer Questions

1. Krieg dem Kriege contains images captioned in which four languages?

2. To whom did the "Here Is New York" exhibit donate the proceeds?

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

4. How many images did the "Here Is New York" exhibit originally receive?

5. Paraphrasing Woolf, Sontag states that the privileged class fails to respond to images of war with the appropriate pain. She describes this as a:

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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, do people prefer artistic renderings or straight-forward representations of atrocities? Why?

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. Sontag discussed the captions to Goya's "Los Desastres de la Guerra" (The Disasters of War). Explain the significance of these messages to the viewer. How do these captions affect the impact of the image?

7. Sontag agrees with Woolf's assertion that the educated class has failed to understand war. How is this a failure of empathy or imagination?

8. Discuss one way in which the development of technology during and after the Vietnam War has affected the veracity of photographs.

9. How do captions sway interpretations of images? Discuss one of the examples Sontag provides in Chapter 1.

10. Discuss the purpose of Virginia Woolf's "Three Guineas" as explained by Sontag, and explain why Sontag opens her book with this reference.

(see the answer keys)

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