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 reactions to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Which of the following is NOT a reaction Sontag recalls hearing?

2. Restrictions on media coverage of the British campaign in the Falklands was notable for which of the following reasons?

3. Krieg dem Kriege contains images captioned in which four languages?

4. The first war photographer, whose work garnered him the position as "official photographer" of the Crimean War, was which of the following?

5. Sontag argues that the most extensive kind of censorship is which of the following?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

7. 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?

8. Discuss the reaction of the British public to the image of trenches of unburied bodies taken 10 days after a British defeat during the Boer War. What does this reaction say about the sensibility of the public?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sontag suggested that specific memory of atrocities may be detrimental to peace efforts. Is this necessarily true? Is there a way in which memories and memorials might contribute to establishing and maintaining peace? If so, how? If not, why not?

Essay Topic 2

Sontag asserted that perceptions of pain have changed in the modern world. She cited religious narratives and iconography to support her assertion that traditionally pain was seen as a form of sacrifice or trial through which one was rewarded, then discussed the shift in modern society in which pain is perceived as punishment for or consequence of one's actions. Do you agree? Has there been a change in the way "we" perceive suffering? If you agree, what might account for this shift? If you disagree, what evidence can you cite to support your point?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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