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 discusses one year in European history in which the photograph was able to truly capture the nature of human atrocities. Which year was it?

2. In discussing the difference gender makes in perceptions of war, Sontag agrees with which of the following authors?

3. The mass media bombarded viewers with shocking images because:

4. According to Sontag, photographs of atrocities are best received if they are:

5. Sontag mentions many factors which influence the way audiences receive war photography. Which of the following was NOT one of those factors?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Sontag mean when she claimed that the memory of war is mostly local? What does this mean for international news firms?

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

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

4. According to Sontag, how are photographs of victims a form of rhetoric? What is their purpose or message? How do they function to convey this message?

5. Sontag identified two types of censorship which affect war photography. Describe both types of censorship. Which is most influential?

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

7. Discuss one way in which the development of technology during and after the Vietnam War has affected the veracity of photographs.

8. Discuss the significance of "Here is New York," the exhibit of photographs taken on September 11th during the collapse of the World Trade Center.

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

10. How did war journalism change during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39)? How did the coverage of this war more closely resemble modern media coverage of conflicts?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout the book, Sontag discussed various photography exhibits centered on tragedies and atrocities. Some examples include the "Here is New York" exhibit following the attack on the World Trade Center and an exhibit on lynchings of African Americans in the South during the early 20th century. Sontag argued that, at times, museum exhibits are not the most appropriate venue for images of atrocity because they allow casual observers to pass by images without giving them due reverence. Do you agree with Sontag's argument regarding museum exhibits throughout the book? Why or why not? Be sure to provide evidence to support your discussion of this type of representation.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout Sontag's argument, gender norms and expectations emerge as contributing factors in the way individuals receive images. How does Sontag treat these gendered expectations? Do you agree with Sontag's assertions on this issue? Why or why not? Discuss the differences in the ways men and women receive photographs of war and atrocity as well as the way publishing companies think about their audiences in terms of gender.

(see the answer keys)

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