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. Which work of literature does Sontag cite as evidence that war was once seen as part of a man's life?
(a) The Aeneid.
(b) The Iliad.
(c) The Odyssey.
(d) The Republic.

2. 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.

3. _______ is a modern development in camera use.
(a) Uglifying.
(b) Beautifying.
(c) Complicating.
(d) Simplifying.

4. Events enter the collective memory, not by a natural process of remembering but by:
(a) Subconscious selection.
(b) Government propaganda.
(c) Repeated exposure.
(d) Active designation of significance.

5. 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.

Short Answer Questions

1. 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?

2. Sontag claims in Chapter 6 that, despite historical evidence to the contrary, we have come to see which of the following as the natural state of being?

3. Which of the following is NOT one of the adjectives Sontag uses to describe the indescribable experience of war?

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

5. Sarajevans were angered by a photography exhibit which featured photographs of their suffering alongside images of which other country's people?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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.

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

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

6. Sontag discusses the emergence of apathy and cynicism toward war. According to her discussion, what feeling underlies cynicism about war and atrocity? What is the purpose of this cynicism?

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

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

9. 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?

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

(see the answer keys)

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