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 suggests that a catastrophic event that is experienced in real life. . .
(a) "does not often seem to be happening."
(b) "will often seem eerily like its representation."
(c) "causes greater pain than one that is experienced on television."
(d) "induces more stress when it is televised."

2. 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 to behave humanely.
(b) Failure of wealth.
(c) Failure of empathy and imagination.
(d) Failure of ignorance.

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

4. After World War I, the general public thought of the War as:
(a) An atrocity committed on the world stage.
(b) A hopeless waste of human energy and life.
(c) A clean, necessary and effectively fought war.
(d) The war to end all wars.

5. Sontag lists many effects of photographs depicting war victims. Which of the following was not one of the effects she lists?
(a) "They simplify."
(b) "They inspire."
(c) "They reiterate."
(d) "They create the illusion of consensus."

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. Sontag argues that the photograph, unlike the written word, is:

4. Sontag notes that images of war most significantly influenced which of the following groups?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

4. 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?

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

6. 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?

7. 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?

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

9. Using the example of genocides and AIDS in Africa, Sontag argued that images of suffering in far-off places carry a double meaning. What is this double meaning?

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

(see the answer keys)

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