Regarding the Pain of Others Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Sontag argues that a photograph by which of these photographers triggered mass outcry against the Vietnam War?

2. Which painting does Sontag "find it difficult" to look at?

3. The footage from a 1898 charge of Colonel Roosevelt's volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders, was replaced with film of a staged charge later for which of the following reasons?

4. At the end of World War II, a group of journalists formed Magnum Photo Agency. Which of the following photographers was not among them?

5. Which of the following magazines was NOT devoted entirely to photography?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the purpose of Virginia Woolf's "Three Guineas" as explained by Sontag, and explain why Sontag opens her book with this reference.

2. Explain the purpose of photography collections such as Ernst Friedrich's "Krieg dem Kriege!" (War Against War!), and discuss how these works attempt to achieve this end.

3. According to Sontag, how are standards for journalism determined in an era of tele-controlled warfare?

4. How do captions sway interpretations of images? Discuss one of the examples Sontag provides in Chapter 1.

5. According to Sontag, how do mass Hollywood productions influence the public's perception of catastrophic or horrific events?

6. Discuss the significance of the Magnum Photo Agency, founded in Paris in 1947. What was the group initially founded to do? How did they influence the development of photojournalism?

7. Using the example of genocides and AIDS in Africa, Sontag argued that images of suffering in far-off places carry a double meaning. What is this double meaning?

8. Sontag asserted that "cameras have always kept company with death." What did she mean by this assertion?

9. Sontag discussed the captions to Goya's "Los Desastres de la Guerra" (The Disasters of War). Explain the significance of these messages to the viewer. How do these captions affect the impact of the image?

10. Why do images of pain challenge us to look without flinching? According to Sontag, what purpose does this serve?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Are images sufficient to provoke anti-war sentiment? Sontag ultimately concluded that photographs alone could not achieve this end. Do you agree or disagree? Are some images striking, shocking, horrifying, or compelling enough to effect change? Do some of Sontag's examples, such as the coverage of the Vietnam War, work for or against her assertion?

Essay Topic 2

Although the public often reacts with disappointment or even outrage upon learning that a moving image has been staged, is there anything inherently less true about an image staged for a photograph than there is in a still life composed for a painting? Does a photograph need to capture spontaneous truth as it unfolds in order to have any validity. Provide support for your argument and discuss relevant examples.

Essay Topic 3

In her analysis of Woolf's views of war and the business of making war, Sontag elaborated on her contemporary views on gender and its significance to an individual's understanding of war. Do you agree with her gendered assumptions or arguments? Are you more inclined to support Woolf's statement? Why or why not? Be sure to support your argument with contemporary examples and evidence from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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