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. What does Sontag claim as our only connection with the dead?
(a) Memory.
(b) Graves.
(c) Images.
(d) Love.

2. Which of the following thinkers argued that people take "no small" delight in witnessing the suffering of others?
(a) Aristotle.
(b) Plato.
(c) Edmund Burke.
(d) Renee Descartes.

3. Sontag discusses another common belief regarding media coverage of an event, and suggested that it may seem to contradict the first common belief she addresses. What is this second idea?
(a) The media sensationalizes stories of atrocity.
(b) Repeated images in the media exhaust our ability to prevent new atrocities.
(c) Overexposure to images in the media makes people callous.
(d) Limited exposure diminishes the impact the images have on an audience.

4. When Baudelaire expressed his concerns about the effects of the newspaper in 1860, which of the following was true?
(a) Newspapers had begun to sensationalize headlines.
(b) Newspapers did NOT yet print images.
(c) Newspapers had recently become more widely available to the public.
(d) Newspapers had begun printing images alongside the stories.

5. Sontag suggests that, for the most part, photographs received more serious attention when placed in which of the following scenarios?
(a) Newspapers.
(b) Museums.
(c) Books.
(d) Galleries.

Short Answer Questions

1. In portraying horrors, Leonardo da Vinci encouraged artists to be:

2. Which of the following works does Sontag site as containing the first recognition of the human fascination with mutilated bodies?

3. In order to take pleasure in suffering, Sontag argues that one must necessarily have which of the following?

4. What did Wall's photograph enable soldiers to do that they could not do in "real" life?

5. Sontag cites the Japanese narrative "Chushingura" in which the protagonist stops to appreciate the beauty of cherry blossoms one last time before committing ritual suicide as an example of which kind of shocking art?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. Sontag suggests that Wall's work affirms the normalcy of war. How so?

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

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

5. Sontag claims that a book is still the best medium for circulating images of atrocity. Name the three reasons she provides.

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

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

8. Describe the scene which Sontag refers to as the first description of bodies in anguish and identify the source of this description.

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

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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