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. Photography on the war front was first banned in an organized fashion during which of the following wars?
(a) The Boer War.
(b) World War I.
(c) The Spanish Civil War.
(d) World War II.

2. A heated debate emerged when a weekly paper in Boston ran a video of which American journalist's execution in Pakistan?
(a) Eddie Adams.
(b) Don McCullin.
(c) Daniel Pearl.
(d) Ariel Sharon.

3. 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?
(a) The man's suffering should be a private affair.
(b) The man's loved ones would discover the images one day.
(c) The man deserved greater respect for serving his government in war.
(d) The man was a human being.

4. Sontag argues that Goya's "The Disasters of War" was a turning point in the depiction of suffering. What does she cite as her reason?
(a) The subtlety of the portrayal of war.
(b) The captions, challenging the viewer to look.
(c) The starkness of Goya's craft.
(d) The detailed descriptions accompanying the work.

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 lighting on the day of the event was insufficient.
(b) The photographer lost the film reel.
(c) Colonel Roosevelt was unsatisfied with the footage.
(d) The footage of the actual event was not dramatic enough.

Short Answer Questions

1. Photographic representations of the Vietnam War was essential to promoting:

2. Sontag compares the desire for images of people in pain to which other recurrent type of image?

3. Sontag notes that at the time Virginia Woolf wrote "Three Guineas," war journalism was different than it is now. How was it different?

4. Sontag argues that Woolf's view, like many other "antiwar polemicists" is:

5. Sontag argues that technological advances changed the way the public understands war by:

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Sontag distinguished between "image makers" and "image takers". What is the difference between these two groups of artists? How are they perceived differently?

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

4. 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.

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

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

7. Sontag stated that the photographer's intentions do not determine the message of the photograph. Discuss the contributing factors which influence the reception of photographs in the media.

8. 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.

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

10. Explain Sontag's objection to the idea that a news broadcasting program can "give you the world." Why did she argue that compressing world news into broadcasted programming is bad?

(see the answer keys)

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