Regarding the Pain of Others Test | Lesson Plans 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 discussed image-glut and image-flow extensively in this essay. Do you agree with her assertions that the modern world contains a plethora of disturbing or horrific images? Evaluate her argument regarding the effects of image-glut and propose your own. How does the influx of war photographs affect the viewer? Are viewers more prone to apathy because of the quantity of images? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Sontag asserted that acknowledging the human capacity for unthinkable cruelty is a step toward intellectual and moral maturity. Do you agree? Why or why not? Further, why is intellectual or moral maturity a desirable outcome of war photography? How does this new-found maturity benefit the world? Is this perhaps vital to the production of a functional society? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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