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. The Brady group's approach to war photography differed from Fenton's approach in which of the following ways?

2. Sontag notes that post-colonial Africa is most commonly known to the American public based on a series of which of the following groups of images?

3. Sontag argues that Woolf's view, like many other "antiwar polemicists" is:

4. Sontag suggests that the camera always "kept company with _________".

5. Sontag discusses the use of images of the dead to bolster hatred of the enemy. Which of the following recent events, aired on the Al Jazeera network, does she use as an example?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss one way in which the development of technology during and after the Vietnam War has affected the veracity of photographs.

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

3. 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?

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

5. 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?

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

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

8. Explain the significance of Jacques Callot's 1633 series of etchings titled "Les Miseres et les Malheurs de la Guerra" (The Miseries and Misfortunes of War). Why did Sontag discuss this work?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Although the public often reacts with disappointment or even outrage upon learning that a moving image has been staged, is there anything inherently less true about an image staged for a photograph than there is in a still life composed for a painting? Does a photograph need to capture spontaneous truth as it unfolds in order to have any validity. Provide support for your argument and discuss relevant examples.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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