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. The conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s stood out to many onlookers for which of the following reasons?
(a) The media hyped the conflicts by airing footage during each broadcast.
(b) Most people believe that atrocities like that do not happen in Europe.
(c) The violence was more extreme than other conflicts of the era.
(d) Government propaganda incited great public interest.

2. According to Sontag, anti-war sentiment:
(a) Was considered treasonous.
(b) Overcame the militarized frenzy of the war years.
(c) Emerged in the arts across Europe after World War I.
(d) Produced peace.

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

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 detailed descriptions accompanying the work.
(b) The starkness of Goya's craft.
(c) The subtlety of the portrayal of war.
(d) The captions, challenging the viewer to look.

5. Which of the following is true about representations of the dead or dying in American media?
(a) American journalism favors American subjects, often overlooking people in "remote" places.
(b) American news media applies the same standards of decency to all victims, regardless of country of origin.
(c) The faces of the dead and dying from "exotic" places are more likely to be shown.
(d) FCC laws prohibit the printing of images including the faces of war victims.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which Virginia Woolf book does Sontag discuss in detail?

2. Recalling traditions of the 16th and 17th century, Sontag claims that printing images of dark-skinned people in moments of suffering or pain is part of a long tradition of which of the following?

3. Discussing the "co-spectatorship" and "indecency" of the image of the Vietcong suspect's execution, Sontag asserts which of the following?

4. The first war photographer, whose work garnered him the position as "official photographer" of the Crimean War, was which of the following?

5. Sontag lists many effects of photographs depicting war victims. Which of the following was not one of the effects she lists?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Discuss the significance of Eddie Adams' photograph of the execution of a suspected Vietcong agent. What did Sontag say was particularly striking about this image and the circumstances of its creation?

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

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

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

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

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

9. 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?

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

(see the answer keys)

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