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

2. Fenton received directions from the War Office to do which of the following?
(a) Glorify war through patriotic images.
(b) Avoid photographing the ill, wounded, dying and dead.
(c) Graphically depict the horrors of war.
(d) Generate propaganda for Britain.

3. The protagonist of J'Accuse, the 1938 anti-war film, cries out which of the following in German and in English?
(a) "The face of war!"
(b) "Your sacrifices were in vain!"
(c) "The horror!"
(d) "War is ugly!"

4. Discussing the "co-spectatorship" and "indecency" of the image of the Vietcong suspect's execution, Sontag asserts which of the following?
(a) The shooting would not have occurred in the absence of journalists to record it.
(b) The presence of journalists was an invasion of the executed man's privacy.
(c) General Loan was unaware of the cameras at the time of the execution.
(d) The photographer arranged the execution in advance.

5. The mass media bombarded viewers with shocking images because:
(a) They were more likely to stand out from the countless images people saw every day.
(b) People secretly enjoy images of mass destruction.
(c) These images received the highest interest ratings in viewer polls.
(d) The public demanded the uncensored truth.

Short Answer Questions

1. 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?

2. The media may inform the public of war crimes and atrocities, but often fails to capture the:

3. Photography on the war front was first banned in an organized fashion during which of the following wars?

4. Which of the following included close-up images of soldiers wounded by war in his/her 1938 film?

5. Sontag references an agreement in which the United States, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan came together to renounce war. What is the name of this agreement?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

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

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. According to Sontag, do people prefer artistic renderings or straight-forward representations of atrocities? Why?

5. How did war journalism change during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39)? How did the coverage of this war more closely resemble modern media coverage of conflicts?

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

7. 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?

8. Sontag suggests that the same photograph might elicit "opposing responses." Discussing a specific example, explain how this might be possible.

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

10. 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.

(see the answer keys)

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