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 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?

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

3. The Brady war pictures were taken of which of the following wars?

4. Ultimately, Sontag claims that war is:

5. Who took the infamous image of Brigadier General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong suspect in the street?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the significance of Eddie Adams' photograph of the execution of a suspected Vietcong agent. What did Sontag say was particularly striking about this image and the circumstances of its creation?

2. Using the example of genocides and AIDS in Africa, Sontag argued that images of suffering in far-off places carry a double meaning. What is this double meaning?

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

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. Discuss the purpose of Virginia Woolf's "Three Guineas" as explained by Sontag, and explain why Sontag opens her book with this reference.

8. Explain the connection Sontag made between religious narratives and iconography and the Western understanding of images of suffering. Discuss at least one example from the text.

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Sontag drew parallels between photography and voyeurism, as well as war photography and pornography. How do you feel about these comparisons? Explore these connections using images of your own. Is there, in fact, a similar feeling evoked by both images? Can something repulsive be beautiful? Can something beautiful be repulsive?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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