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) Subject to interpretation.
(b) Politically charged.
(c) Artistically inferior.
(d) Always objective.

2. The media may inform the public of war crimes and atrocities, but often fails to capture the:
(a) Emotional struggles of the victims.
(b) Complicated circumstances, causes and impact of the event.
(c) Essence of the experience.
(d) Tension between combatants.

3. Sontag discusses "Here Is New York," a photography exhibit depicting September 11th. Whom did the organizers ask to contribute photographs?
(a) Professional artists only.
(b) Anyone who captured an image of the tragedy.
(c) Photojournalists only.
(d) Amateurs only.

4. Sontag argues that we are most disappointed to discover that which type of photographs have been staged?
(a) Images depicting everyday life.
(b) Images depicting spontaneous events.
(c) Images depicting intimate climaxes.
(d) Images depicting gory battle scenes.

5. The Brady war pictures were taken of which of the following wars?
(a) World War I.
(b) The Spanish Civil War.
(c) The Crimean War.
(d) The American Civil War.

Short Answer Questions

1. Fenton received directions from the War Office to do which of the following?

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?

3. Noting the long history of the "iconography of suffering," Sontag lists three types of art which depict incredible agony. Which of the following is NOT one of them?

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

5. Sontag lists which of the following as images that the artist "makes"?

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

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

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

5. 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.

6. Sontag identified two types of censorship which affect war photography. Describe both types of censorship. Which is most influential?

7. Discuss one way in which the development of technology during and after the Vietnam War has affected the veracity of photographs.

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

9. 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?

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

(see the answer keys)

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