|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Sontag claims that compassion requires which of the following in order to remain?
2. Recounting a conversation with a Sarajevan woman, Sontag claims that when people are safe, they will feel which of the following toward atrocities committed abroad?
3. Overall, Sontag seems to believe that images are ultimately which of the following?
4. Sontag suggests that it is still possible to "feel the pulse of Christian iconography" in much war photography. Which famous work of art does she suggest can be seen in W. Eugene Smith's photograph of the woman in Minamata cradling her child?
5. Which work of literature does Sontag cite as evidence that war was once seen as part of a man's life?
Short Essay Questions
1. 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?
2. Sontag suggests that there is a rise of sadism in contemporary culture. Discuss this assertion using specific examples.
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. Why does Sontag refer to the argument that image-glut desensitizes us to images of suffering as "conservative"?
5. Sontag claims that a book is still the best medium for circulating images of atrocity. Name the three reasons she provides.
6. How does our contemporary view of suffering differ from earlier, more traditional Western views?
7. Discuss the photograph that Georges Batailles kept on his desk. Why does Sontag discuss this particular photograph?
8. 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?
9. Sontag suggests that Wall's work affirms the normalcy of war. How so?
10. 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?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 2
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 3
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?
This section contains 1,171 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)