Regarding the Pain of Others Test | Final 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. Using the example of Ground Zero, Sontag argues that photographs have the power to do which of the following to their subject?
(a) Degrade it to something consumable.
(b) Elevate it to something venerable.
(c) Capture the unseen in it.
(d) Transform it to something beautiful.

2. _______ is a classic use for the camera.
(a) Complicating.
(b) Simplifying.
(c) Uglifying.
(d) Beautifying.

3. Which of the following phrases does Sontag use to refer to items which allow us to remember or think on death?
(a) Emblems of suffering.
(b) Photography.
(c) Memorabilia.
(d) Memento mori.

4. Sontag claims that witnessing atrocity through images is not much different than witnessing them in person. What does she say these activities had in common?
(a) Callousness, exploitation and distance.
(b) Ability to be redirected, callousness and ease.
(c) Ease, distance and the ability to be redirected.
(d) Callousness, distance and apathy.

5. Sontag suggests that to make peace is to do which of the following?
(a) Forgive.
(b) Understand.
(c) Remember.
(d) Forget.

Short Answer Questions

1. Georges Bataille, famous for his studies of the erotic, kept which of the following images on his desk?

2. Which of the following terms does Sontag define as a commonly used term for those whose profession like journalists takes them into war zones?

3. Sebastiao Salgado's work called "Migrations: Humanity in Transition" was often criticized as being:

4. Many of the scenes in "Saving Private Ryan" were based on works by which famous World War I photographer?

5. Although images were more prevalent, which of the following was NOT also true?

Short Essay Questions

1. Ultimately, Sontag notes that to discuss the desensitization of all television viewers is a provincial move, at best. Why does she argue this?

2. Sontag claims that there is a difference between finding beauty in artistic representations of war and finding beauty in photographs of war. What is the difference?

3. How does our contemporary view of suffering differ from earlier, more traditional Western views?

4. Sontag suggests that there is a rise of sadism in contemporary culture. Discuss this assertion using specific examples.

5. Sontag contrasts the perceived number of atrocities now with the number from years ago, and makes a specific claim about the rate of atrocity. Discuss this assertion.

6. How does Sontag refute claims that photography is somehow inherently more voyeuristic than other forms of observation?

7. Although there are more images broadcast, Sontag suggests that the human response to suffering is relatively unchanged. Discuss Sontag's views on our capacity for dealing with suffering.

8. What is unusual about Wall's "Dead Troops Talk (A Vision After an Ambush of a Red Army Patrol near Moqor, Afghanistan, Winter 1986)?" Discuss two aspects of the work that separate it from others like it.

9. Why does Sontag say that "it is not necessarily better to be moved?" Discuss the negative aspects of sentimentality.

10. Sontag discusses two widespread ideas about the influence of photography. Sontag notes that the second idea might seem to be the converse of the first. What is the second idea? Discuss the second idea using support from the book.

(see the answer keys)

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