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. Recalling traditions of the 16th and 17th century, Sontag claims that printing images of dark-skinned people in moments of suffering or pain is part of a long tradition of which of the following?
(a) Creating interest in the human rights violations committed against the colonized or dominated.
(b) Protesting oppressive treatment of the colonized or dominated.
(c) Displaying the bodies of the colonized or dominated.
(d) Drumming up feelings of superiority over the colonized or dominated.

2. Sontag lists which of the following as images that the artist "takes"?
(a) Paintings.
(b) Photographs.
(c) Drawings.
(d) Etchings.

3. Which of the following magazines was NOT devoted entirely to photography?
(a) Picture Post.
(b) National Geographic.
(c) Life.
(d) Vu.

4. Sontag discusses reactions to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Which of the following is NOT a reaction Sontag recalls hearing?
(a) "It felt unreal."
(b) "It felt surreal."
(c) "It felt like a dream."
(d) "It felt like a movie."

5. Which technological advancement changed the way war was photographed after World War I?
(a) Lighting equipment.
(b) Lightweight cameras.
(c) Weaponry.
(d) Transportation.

Short Answer Questions

1. Sontag mentions many factors which influence the way audiences receive war photography. Which of the following was NOT one of those factors?

2. According to Sontag, photojournalism was used post-9/11 to:

3. Which was the first war to be covered by television cameras?

4. According to Sontag, war journalism first developed during which of the following two wars?

5. Sontag discusses one year in European history in which the photograph was able to truly capture the nature of human atrocities. Which year was it?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Discuss the controversy surrounding the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002. What was the main conflict?

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

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

6. Sontag compared the photograph to a maxim or a proverb. Explain this comparison. What does it tell us about the nature or impact of photographs?

7. Explain Sontag's objection to the idea that a news broadcasting program can "give you the world." Why did she argue that compressing world news into broadcasted programming is bad?

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

9. 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?

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

(see the answer keys)

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