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. Sontag claims that sentimentality is often accompanied by which of the following?
(a) A tendency toward hypocrisy.
(b) A maudlin reaction to stories of war.
(c) A proclivity for brutality.
(d) A fervid religious commitment.

2. Sontag claims that the model for public space in modern society is which of the following?
(a) The mega-store.
(b) The memorial.
(c) The debate hall.
(d) The classroom.

3. It was generally thought that public awareness was largely guided by which of the following?
(a) Educational programming.
(b) Media coverage.
(c) Book industry.
(d) Government propaganda.

4. Sontag argues that journalists who photograph war are often received with resistance. She suggests that the desire to capture images of suffering is often described in which of the following ways?
(a) Vulgar and low.
(b) Cruel and torturous.
(c) Cruel and unusual.
(d) Exploitative and perverse.

5. Contemporary society, at the time Sontag wrote the book, unanimously witnessed a rise of which of the following in the media?
(a) Sadism and sexuality.
(b) Violence and sexuality.
(c) War protest.
(d) Violence and sadism.

Short Answer Questions

1. Modern society, Sontag argues, is a "society of _______".

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. Sontag suggests that photographs do NOT ask which of the following tasks of the viewers?

4. According to Sontag, people are less responsive to images of violence in which of the following contexts?

5. The West had a long tradition of viewing war as which of the following?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Sontag, designating a hell is not enough; yet, she suggests that this ability to name an atrocity does accomplish something. What does this accomplish? What is the point of naming an atrocity an atrocity?

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

3. What does Sontag mean when she said that photographs transform?

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

5. 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.

6. Why does Sontag refer to the argument that image-glut desensitizes us to images of suffering as "conservative"?

7. Sontag discusses Sebastiao Salgado's series entitled "Migrations: Humanity in Transition" and points out one very problematic effect of the series. Discuss this effect.

8. 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.

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

10. Discuss the photograph that Georges Batailles kept on his desk. Why does Sontag discuss this particular photograph?

(see the answer keys)

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