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

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Sontag claims that "good taste" is always _________ when invoked by institutions.

3. According to Sontag, why do images of atrocities fail to convey a singular, universal message?

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

5. Which of the following pairs of images appeared side-by-side in a 1937 issue of "Life"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Sontag stated that the photographer's intentions do not determine the message of the photograph. Discuss the contributing factors which influence the reception of photographs in the media.

4. Discuss the significance of the photograph's intended purpose. If a photograph is intended to convey a message, but because of the context in which it is displayed does not, is the photograph still successful?

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

6. 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?

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

9. Sontag discusses two widespread ideas about the influence of photography. Sontag notes that the second idea might seem to be the converse of the first. What is the second idea? Discuss the second idea using support from the book.

10. Sontag distinguished between "image makers" and "image takers". What is the difference between these two groups of artists? How are they perceived differently?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Sontag commented extensively on the ways in which war photography and atrocity centered journalism has evolved from the inception of photojournalism. Discuss your views on the evolution of war photography. Do you agree with Sontag's assertions? Why or why not? Draw on specific historical and contemporary examples to support your analysis.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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