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. Which of the following phrases does Sontag use to refer to items which allow us to remember or think on death?

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. Sontag cites one of her earlier books published in 1977. Which of the following is it?

4. Which work of literature does Sontag cite as evidence that war was once seen as part of a man's life?

5. Although Sontag is pessimistic about the broad effects of atrocity photographs, she did mention one positive outcome. What was it?

Short Essay Questions

1. In her discussion of the emotional impact of artistic renderings of suffering, Sontag referrs to Kabuki or Bunraku plays. What are these plays? Why does Sontag include this example?

2. 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.

3. Sontag suggests that there is a rise of sadism in contemporary culture. Discuss this assertion using specific examples.

4. What does Sontag mean when she said that photographs transform?

5. Ultimately, Sontag notes that to discuss the desensitization of all television viewers is a provincial move, at best. Why does she argue this?

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

7. According to Sontag, how does Goya's "The Disasters of War" differ from most depictions of mutilated and tortured bodies?

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

9. Sontag claims that a book is still the best medium for circulating images of atrocity. Name the three reasons she provides.

10. Although there are more images broadcast, Sontag suggests that the human response to suffering is relatively unchanged. Discuss Sontag's views on our capacity for dealing with suffering.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In her analysis of Woolf's views of war and the business of making war, Sontag elaborated on her contemporary views on gender and its significance to an individual's understanding of war. Do you agree with her gendered assumptions or arguments? Are you more inclined to support Woolf's statement? Why or why not? Be sure to support your argument with contemporary examples and evidence from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Are images sufficient to provoke anti-war sentiment? Sontag ultimately concluded that photographs alone could not achieve this end. Do you agree or disagree? Are some images striking, shocking, horrifying, or compelling enough to effect change? Do some of Sontag's examples, such as the coverage of the Vietnam War, work for or against her assertion?

(see the answer keys)

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