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 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 like a dream."
(b) "It felt like a movie."
(c) "It felt surreal."
(d) "It felt unreal."

2. The mass media bombarded viewers with shocking images because:
(a) They were more likely to stand out from the countless images people saw every day.
(b) The public demanded the uncensored truth.
(c) These images received the highest interest ratings in viewer polls.
(d) People secretly enjoy images of mass destruction.

3. Which of the following pairs of images appeared side-by-side in a 1937 issue of "Life"?
(a) A mother holding her child while looking at the sky and Vitalis men's hair cream.
(b) A dying Republican soldier and a mother holding her child while looking at the sky.
(c) A dying Republican soldier and Vitalis men's hair cream.
(d) The bombing of Guernica and Vitalis men's hair cream.

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

5. The protagonist of J'Accuse, the 1938 anti-war film, cries out which of the following in German and in English?
(a) "The face of war!"
(b) "The horror!"
(c) "War is ugly!"
(d) "Your sacrifices were in vain!"

Short Answer Questions

1. Who took the infamous image of Brigadier General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong suspect in the street?

2. U.S. bombing of Afghanistan was conducted remotely from which of the following locations?

3. Sontag argues that Goya's "The Disasters of War" was a turning point in the depiction of suffering. What does she cite as her reason?

4. Faced with "information overload," people remember a photograph because it is a quick way of storing information, much like which of the following strategies?

5. At the end of World War II, a group of journalists formed Magnum Photo Agency. Which of the following photographers was not among them?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Sontag asserted that "cameras have always kept company with death." What did she mean by this assertion?

4. 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?

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

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

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

8. 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?

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

(see the answer keys)

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