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

2. Which was the first war to be covered by television cameras?
(a) The Korean War.
(b) The War on Terror.
(c) The Vietnam War.
(d) Desert Storm.

3. Which of the following included close-up images of soldiers wounded by war in his/her 1938 film?
(a) Abel Gance.
(b) Virginia Woolf.
(c) Anonymous.
(d) Ernst Friedrich.

4. Sontag argues that Woolf's view, like many other "antiwar polemicists" is:
(a) Idealistic.
(b) Out-dated.
(c) Narrow-minded.
(d) Generic.

5. Sontag discusses "Here Is New York," a photography exhibit depicting September 11th. Whom did the organizers ask to contribute photographs?
(a) Amateurs only.
(b) Photojournalists only.
(c) Professional artists only.
(d) Anyone who captured an image of the tragedy.

Short Answer Questions

1. The Brady war pictures were taken of which of the following wars?

2. 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?

3. Sontag argues that creating lasting interest in war image requires which of the following?

4. Faced with "information overload," people remember a photograph because it is a quick way of storing information, much like which of the following strategies?

5. Sontag discusses the subtitle of "Here is New York" in some detail. What was this subtitle?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Sontag asserted that "cameras have always kept company with death." What did she mean by this assertion?

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

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

6. Sontag identified two types of censorship which affect war photography. Describe both types of censorship. Which is most influential?

7. 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?

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

9. Using the example of genocides and AIDS in Africa, Sontag argued that images of suffering in far-off places carry a double meaning. What is this double meaning?

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

(see the answer keys)

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