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. Paraphrasing Woolf, Sontag states that the privileged class fails to respond to images of war with the appropriate pain. She describes this as a:
(a) Failure of wealth.
(b) Failure of ignorance.
(c) Failure to behave humanely.
(d) Failure of empathy and imagination.

2. Which Virginia Woolf book does Sontag discuss in detail?
(a) Mrs. Dalloway.
(b) The Hours.
(c) Three Guineas.
(d) Orlando.

3. Sontag claims that images of suffering in Africa send a double message. Which of the following best represents that message?
(a) Suffering like this only happens in backward places like Africa; thus, America and other developed nations are clearly superior.
(b) Places like Africa always face horrors like this; therefore, intervention is a waste of resources.
(c) The suffering depicted in the photographs was inhumane and should be prevented; however, it is to be expected of a place like Africa.
(d) Violence is abhorrent in any case; therefore, we must interfene to stop such atrocities.

4. According to Sontag, _________ also influences the public's perception of war.
(a) Government policies.
(b) Education.
(c) Anti-war sentiment.
(d) Hollywood.

5. 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 footage of the actual event was not dramatic enough.
(b) The photographer lost the film reel.
(c) The lighting on the day of the event was insufficient.
(d) Colonel Roosevelt was unsatisfied with the footage.

Short Answer Questions

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

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

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

4. 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?

5. The conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s stood out to many onlookers for which of the following reasons?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is unusual about Wall's "Dead Troops Talk (A Vision After an Ambush of a Red Army Patrol near Moqor, Afghanistan, Winter 1986)?" Discuss two aspects of the work that separate it from others like it.

2. Sontag claims that there is historical evidence to suggest that, despite contemporary belief, war has always been the norm, and peace the exception to that norm. Discuss one of the examples Sontag provided.

3. Although there are more images broadcast, Sontag suggests that the human response to suffering is relatively unchanged. Discuss Sontag's views on our capacity for dealing with suffering.

4. What did Sontag mean when she claimed that the memory of war is mostly local? What does this mean for international news firms?

5. Why does Sontag refer to the argument that image-glut desensitizes us to images of suffering as "conservative"?

6. Sontag proposes that perhaps we place too much value on memory. What does she mean? Why does she posit this?

7. 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?

8. How does our contemporary view of suffering differ from earlier, more traditional Western views?

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

10. Sontag suggests that there is a rise of sadism in contemporary culture. Discuss this assertion using specific examples.

(see the answer keys)

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