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 mentions many factors which influence the way audiences receive war photography. Which of the following was NOT one of those factors?

2. Sontag claims that images of suffering in Africa send a double message. Which of the following best represents that message?

3. Sontag observes that "Here Is New York" had no need for captions, but suggests that:

4. According to Sontag, photojournalism was used post-9/11 to:

5. Sontag lists which of the following as images that the artist "takes"?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

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. 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?

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

6. Sontag compared the photograph to a maxim or a proverb. Explain this comparison. What does it tell us about the nature or impact of photographs?

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

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

10. 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?

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

In her argument about representation, Sontag also addressed the significance and ethics of censorship. It would seem that standards of good taste or propriety are fairly often at odds with the constitutionally protected freedom of the press. Delve into the issue of censorship. Are there instances in which censorship is the ethical choice? If so, when? If not, why not? Need public interest and censorship be at odds? Or, is censorship designed with public interest in mind? Defend your position with ample support and specific examples.

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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