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

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

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

4. Which painting does Sontag "find it difficult" to look at?
(a) Callot's "The Miseries and Misfortunes of War."
(b) Picasso's "Guernica."
(c) Titian's painting of the flaying of Marsyas.
(d) Da Vinci's "The Last Supper."

5. Sontag, confirming Walter Lippmann's assertion, argues that photography replaced which of the following media for representing the truth?
(a) Religious texts such as the Bible.
(b) Artistic representations such as paintings or drawings.
(c) Eye-witness testimonies.
(d) Scientific studies.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which was the first war to be "covered" by professional war journalists at the front lines?

2. Sontag claims that "good taste" is always _________ when invoked by institutions.

3. How many images did the "Here Is New York" exhibit originally receive?

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?

5. "The Killing Fields" depicts which of the following?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the significance of the Magnum Photo Agency, founded in Paris in 1947. What was the group initially founded to do? How did they influence the development of photojournalism?

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

3. 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.

4. 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?

5. Discuss the reaction of the British public to the image of trenches of unburied bodies taken 10 days after a British defeat during the Boer War. What does this reaction say about the sensibility of the public?

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

7. 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.

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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