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 media may inform the public of war crimes and atrocities, but often fails to capture the:
(a) Complicated circumstances, causes and impact of the event.
(b) Essence of the experience.
(c) Emotional struggles of the victims.
(d) Tension between combatants.

2. At the end of World War II, a group of journalists formed Magnum Photo Agency. Which of the following photographers was not among them?
(a) Henri Cartier-Bresson.
(b) Robert Capa.
(c) Ernst Friedrich.
(d) David Seymour.

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

4. 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.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. A heated debate emerged when a weekly paper in Boston ran a video of which American journalist's execution in Pakistan?

2. Audiences may question the veracity of photographs because:

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

4. Which antiwar book which shows images from German military archives does Sontag reference?

5. 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?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. Why does Sontag say that "it is not necessarily better to be moved?" Discuss the negative aspects of sentimentality.

3. Explain the significance of Jacques Callot's 1633 series of etchings titled "Les Miseres et les Malheurs de la Guerra" (The Miseries and Misfortunes of War). Why did Sontag discuss this work?

4. Discuss the photograph that Georges Batailles kept on his desk. Why does Sontag discuss this particular photograph?

5. In her discussion of the emotional impact of artistic renderings of suffering, Sontag referrs to Kabuki or Bunraku plays. What are these plays? Why does Sontag include this example?

6. 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?

7. According to Sontag, why is there no museum dedicated to the victims of the slave trade?

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

9. 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?

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

(see the answer keys)

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