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. In its early days, photography was thought to:

2. Restrictions on media coverage of the British campaign in the Falklands was notable for which of the following reasons?

3. Sontag describes a famous photograph from the Spanish Civil War in which two things occur simultaneously. What are those two things?

4. In discussing the difference gender makes in perceptions of war, Sontag agrees with which of the following authors?

5. Which was the first war to be "covered" by professional war journalists at the front lines?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Explain the purpose of photography collections such as Ernst Friedrich's "Krieg dem Kriege!" (War Against War!), and discuss how these works attempt to achieve this end.

4. According to Sontag, do people prefer artistic renderings or straight-forward representations of atrocities? Why?

5. 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?

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

7. Sontag distinguished between "image makers" and "image takers". What is the difference between these two groups of artists? How are they perceived differently?

8. How do captions sway interpretations of images? Discuss one of the examples Sontag provides in Chapter 1.

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Select a work of war protest art which Sontag discussed in detail in this book. Formulate your own argument regarding the effectiveness of the piece. Was Sontag correct in her assertions? Why or why not? What does the work attempt to accomplish? What does it succeed or fail to do? Provide specific support and evidence for your assertions.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Sontag suggested that galleries as venues for war photography and images of atrocity may not produce the proper reverence for the subjects and their suffering. Her main contention was with the environment which cultivates casual interest. Do you agree? Does displaying images of atrocities in public places diminish their effect? Are we, as Sontag suggests, less likely to linger and contemplate? Support your discussion with evidence and relevant analysis.

(see the answer keys)

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