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 Woolf's view, like many other "antiwar polemicists" is:

2. Ultimately, Sontag claims that war is:

3. Goya's "Los Desastres de la Guerra" (The Disasters of War) was a series of etchings published in 1863. Which of the following events does this series depict?

4. After World War I, the general public thought of the War as:

5. Sontag references an agreement in which the United States, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan came together to renounce war. What is the name of this agreement?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Sontag compared the photograph to a maxim or a proverb. Explain this comparison. What does it tell us about the nature or impact of photographs?

3. 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?

4. Explain Sontag's objection to the idea that a news broadcasting program can "give you the world." Why did she argue that compressing world news into broadcasted programming is bad?

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

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

7. Explain how being a "spectator of calamities" occurring in far-off places is a "quintessentially modern experience."

8. Sontag suggests that the same photograph might elicit "opposing responses." Discussing a specific example, explain how this might be possible.

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. Explain the significance of Jacques Callot's 1633 series of etchings titled "Les Miseres et les Malheurs de la Guerra" (The Miseries and Misfortunes of War). Why did Sontag discuss this work?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In her argument about representation, Sontag also addressed the significance and ethics of censorship. It would seem that standards of good taste or propriety are fairly often at odds with the constitutionally protected freedom of the press. Delve into the issue of censorship. Are there instances in which censorship is the ethical choice? If so, when? If not, why not? Need public interest and censorship be at odds? Or, is censorship designed with public interest in mind? Defend your position with ample support and specific examples.

Essay Topic 2

Media coverage of the Vietnam War produced a mass outcry against war, while the media coverage of 9/11 produced more divergent effects on individuals. What do you think accounts for this difference? Is it perhaps the difference between a far-off conflict and an attack at "home"? Is it perhaps something in the nature of the wars themselves? Is it the difference in media coverage? Or is it something altogether different? Defend your position with evidence and support.

Essay Topic 3

On witnessing suffering in a photograph, are we morally or ethically obligated to be emotionally moved? Sontag suggested that perhaps the viewer should not feel ashamed for not feeling a reaction. Do you agree or disagree? Support your position with a discussion of the ethics of witnessing suffering from such a distance.

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