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 the photograph, unlike the written word, is:
(a) Always objective.
(b) Subject to interpretation.
(c) Artistically inferior.
(d) Politically charged.

2. Images of the Gulf War were filtered to portray the "techno war." The public was exposed to only those images that portrayed which of the following sentiments?
(a) Savagery of conventional warfare, compared to American techno war.
(b) Wondrous technological advancements.
(c) American military mercy.
(d) American military superiority over the enemy.

3. In interpreting photographs, Sontag claims that everyone approaches the image as which of the following?
(a) An idealist.
(b) A literalist.
(c) A realist.
(d) A critic.

4. Which of the following is true about representations of the dead or dying in American media?
(a) American journalism favors American subjects, often overlooking people in "remote" places.
(b) FCC laws prohibit the printing of images including the faces of war victims.
(c) American news media applies the same standards of decency to all victims, regardless of country of origin.
(d) The faces of the dead and dying from "exotic" places are more likely to be shown.

5. According to Sontag, photographs of atrocities are best received if they are:
(a) Close-ups of compelling scenes.
(b) Images of familiar places or people.
(c) Well-lit and high-contrast.
(d) So artistically simple as to seem uncomposed.

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. Sontag suggests that the camera always "kept company with _________".

4. Krieg dem Kriege contains images captioned in which four languages?

5. The protagonist of J'Accuse, the 1938 anti-war film, cries out which of the following in German and in English?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. According to Sontag, how does a photograph in the news media differ from a written account? How does the audience change?

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

4. 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?

5. According to Sontag, how do mass Hollywood productions influence the public's perception of catastrophic or horrific events?

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

7. 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.

8. 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.

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 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?

(see the answer keys)

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