Regarding the Pain of Others Test | Final 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 suggests that, for the most part, photographs received more serious attention when placed in which of the following scenarios?

2. Sontag suggests that photographs do NOT ask which of the following tasks of the viewers?

3. Although images were more prevalent, which of the following was NOT also true?

4. Sontag cites William Hazlitt's claim that sympathy is no more a part of human nature than is which of the following?

5. It was generally thought that public awareness was largely guided by which of the following?

Short Essay Questions

1. Sontag contrasts the perceived number of atrocities now with the number from years ago, and makes a specific claim about the rate of atrocity. Discuss this assertion.

2. Sontag discusses the emergence of apathy and cynicism toward war. According to her discussion, what feeling underlies cynicism about war and atrocity? What is the purpose of this cynicism?

3. Sontag discusses Sebastiao Salgado's series entitled "Migrations: Humanity in Transition" and points out one very problematic effect of the series. Discuss this effect.

4. Describe the scene which Sontag refers to as the first description of bodies in anguish and identify the source of this description.

5. Sontag discusses two widespread ideas about the influence of photography. What is the first idea? Discuss it including one example.

6. Sontag claims that there is historical evidence to suggest that, despite contemporary belief, war has always been the norm, and peace the exception to that norm. Discuss one of the examples Sontag provided.

7. How does our contemporary view of suffering differ from earlier, more traditional Western views?

8. 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?

9. According to Sontag, designating a hell is not enough; yet, she suggests that this ability to name an atrocity does accomplish something. What does this accomplish? What is the point of naming an atrocity an atrocity?

10. Sontag claims that there is a difference between finding beauty in artistic representations of war and finding beauty in photographs of war. What is the difference?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Sontag asserted that perceptions of pain have changed in the modern world. She cited religious narratives and iconography to support her assertion that traditionally pain was seen as a form of sacrifice or trial through which one was rewarded, then discussed the shift in modern society in which pain is perceived as punishment for or consequence of one's actions. Do you agree? Has there been a change in the way "we" perceive suffering? If you agree, what might account for this shift? If you disagree, what evidence can you cite to support your point?

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?

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