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. Which of the following is true about representations of the dead or dying in American media?

2. Sontag argues that witnessing war atrocities from afar is a unique experience characteristic of:

3. Which Virginia Woolf book does Sontag discuss in detail?

4. How many images did the "Here Is New York" exhibit originally receive?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the controversy surrounding the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl in Karachi in 2002. What was the main conflict?

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

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

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

6. According to Sontag, how does a photograph in the news media differ from a written account? How does the audience change?

7. Sontag agrees with Woolf's assertion that the educated class has failed to understand war. How is this a failure of empathy or imagination?

8. 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?

9. 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.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Select a work of war protest art which Sontag discussed in detail in this book. Formulate your own argument regarding the effectiveness of the piece. Was Sontag correct in her assertions? Why or why not? What does the work attempt to accomplish? What does it succeed or fail to do? Provide specific support and evidence for your assertions.

Essay Topic 2

Sontag also traced the relationship between the presence of the press and the practice of war-making. In one example, she discussed the execution of a suspected Vietcong soldier by Brigadier General Loan, suggesting that the execution was a performance for the photographer present on the scene. Does media coverage affect the waging of war? Are journalists neutral and uninvolved? Discuss the relationship between journalists' presence and soldiers' behavior. Provide specific examples.

Essay Topic 3

Sontag suggested that galleries as venues for war photography and images of atrocity may not produce the proper reverence for the subjects and their suffering. Her main contention was with the environment which cultivates casual interest. Do you agree? Does displaying images of atrocities in public places diminish their effect? Are we, as Sontag suggests, less likely to linger and contemplate? Support your discussion with evidence and relevant analysis.

(see the answer keys)

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