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 protagonist of J'Accuse, the 1938 anti-war film, cries out which of the following in German and in English?

2. Although the camera captures the scene in front of it, Sontag suggests that the ______ may manipulate the image.

3. Sontag, confirming Walter Lippmann's assertion, argues that photography replaced which of the following media for representing the truth?

4. Which of the following included close-up images of soldiers wounded by war in his/her 1938 film?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. Sontag identified two types of censorship which affect war photography. Describe both types of censorship. Which is most influential?

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

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

9. 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.

10. Sontag agrees with Woolf's assertion that the educated class has failed to understand war. How is this a failure of empathy or imagination?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sontag's book focused, in part, on the ethical or moral ramifications of witnessing war. In particular, she explored the ethics of war representations which capture "full frontal" images of the suffering of others, but almost always shy away from such graphic depictions of the suffering of people like the anticipated audience. Do you agree that this tendency exists in photojournalism? Why or why not?

If you think it does, is there an ethical dilemma inherent in this unbalanced depiction?

If you think it does not, discuss how and why the news media avoid this. Provide examples to counter those Sontag provides.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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