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. Georges Bataille, famous for his studies of the erotic, kept which of the following images on his desk?
(a) A photograph of the Chinese torture "the death of a hundred cuts".
(b) A famous pornographic image, taken in late19th century France.
(c) A photograph of the statue of David.
(d) A painting of the bombing of Guernica.

2. Sontag writes that provocative images may have which of the following effects on viewers?
(a) Provocative images of suffering may enable a deep sense of human empathy.
(b) Provocative images of suffering may incite humanitarian actions to end exploitative actions.
(c) Provocative images may spur viewers to examine how their own privileges are possible through the suffering of others.
(d) Provocative images of suffering may compel viewers to stop subscribing to newspapers for fear of seeing more disturbing photographs.

3. What sentiment concludes the book?
(a) The horror of war is unimaginable.
(b) War is inevitable.
(c) War photography should be banned.
(d) Photographs of atrocities must be endured.

4. Sontag suggests that it is still possible to "feel the pulse of Christian iconography" in much war photography. Which famous work of art does she suggest can be seen in W. Eugene Smith's photograph of the woman in Minamata cradling her child?
(a) The Last Supper.
(b) The Passion of Christ.
(c) Descent from the Cross.
(d) The Pieta.

5. Recounting a conversation with a Sarajevan woman, Sontag claims that when people are safe, they will feel which of the following toward atrocities committed abroad?
(a) Outrage.
(b) Indifference.
(c) Arousal.
(d) Delight.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Sontag, if one feels sympathy for the victims of suffering, it helps ensure that one cannot be ___________.

2. Which Dreiser novel does Sontag reference in the final chapter?

3. Which of the following photographers exhibited photographs of Sarajevo in 1994?

4. Events enter the collective memory, not by a natural process of remembering but by:

5. Sontag suggests that, for the most part, photographs received more serious attention when placed in which of the following scenarios?

Short Essay Questions

1. Sontag asserts that many people become frustrated by their inability to act on the images of suffering they see in the media. What does this frustration often become?

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Sontag proposes that perhaps we place too much value on memory. What does she mean? Why does she posit this?

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. According to Sontag, why is there no museum dedicated to the victims of the slave trade?

7. Why is a museum, in Sontag's opinion, an inappropriate place to display atrocity photographs?

8. According to Sontag, how does Goya's "The Disasters of War" differ from most depictions of mutilated and tortured bodies?

9. Discuss Sontag's assertion that some images serve as memento mori. What does she mean? How do they serve this purpose?

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

(see the answer keys)

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