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 "Here Is New York," a photography exhibit depicting September 11th. Whom did the organizers ask to contribute photographs?

2. Sontag notes that images of war most significantly influenced which of the following groups?

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

4. U.S. bombing of Afghanistan was conducted remotely from which of the following locations?

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

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. 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?

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

4. 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?

5. 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.

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

7. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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