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 technological advances changed the way the public understands war by:
(a) Allowing journalists to represent the war in detail as it happens.
(b) Shielding the public from scenes of the wounded and dying.
(c) Producing mass casualties and horrific destruction.
(d) Improving the power and accuracy of weapons.

2. Restrictions on media coverage of the British campaign in the Falklands was notable for which of the following reasons?
(a) They prohibited foreign journalists from covering the story.
(b) They were stricter than any censorship since the Crimean War.
(c) They opened the event to full-scale television coverage.
(d) They allowed only government-sponsored journalists.

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

4. 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?
(a) 1912.
(b) 1902.
(c) 1945.
(d) 1975.

5. Sontag lists which of the following as images that the artist "makes"?
(a) Paintings and photographs.
(b) Drawings and paintings.
(c) Photographs and etchings.
(d) Etchings and drawings.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Which famous surrealist thinker does Sontag quote as saying "Beauty will be convulsive, or it will not be?"

3. Fenton's "The Valley of the Shadow of Death" is unique for which of the following reasons?

4. Which of the following included close-up images of soldiers wounded by war in his/her 1938 film?

5. In its early days, photography was thought to:

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. 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.

8. Sontag distinguished between "image makers" and "image takers". What is the difference between these two groups of artists? How are they perceived differently?

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

(see the answer keys)

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