|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 no one has a right to which of the following?
2. Modern society, Sontag argues, is a "society of _______".
3. Underneath feelings of apathy, Sontag contends are which of the following feelings?
4. Georges Bataille, famous for his studies of the erotic, kept which of the following images on his desk?
5. Which nation's army was represented in Wall's photograph?
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. Why did the people of Sarajevo object to having scenes of their war represented alongside scenes of the conflict in Somalia?
3. Sontag suggests that Wall's work affirms the normalcy of war. How so?
4. How does Sontag refute claims that photography is somehow inherently more voyeuristic than other forms of observation?
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. 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?
7. 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?
8. Sontag asserts that many people become frustrated by their inability to act on the images of suffering they see in the media. What does this frustration often become?
9. 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.
10. What does Sontag mean when she said that photographs transform?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Throughout the book, Sontag discussed various photography exhibits centered on tragedies and atrocities. Some examples include the "Here is New York" exhibit following the attack on the World Trade Center and an exhibit on lynchings of African Americans in the South during the early 20th century. Sontag argued that, at times, museum exhibits are not the most appropriate venue for images of atrocity because they allow casual observers to pass by images without giving them due reverence. Do you agree with Sontag's argument regarding museum exhibits throughout the book? Why or why not? Be sure to provide evidence to support your discussion of this type of representation.
Essay Topic 2
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 3
Sontag began her discussion with an analysis of Virginia Woolf's book, "Three Guineas." Woolf's analysis of war and gender was a significant source throughout Sontag's argument. Read Woolf's "Three Guineas" and discuss your reaction to Woolf's argument. Did you agree with Woolf or Sontag? Or, perhaps, both, in some way? How did your assessment of Woolf's argument differ from Sontag's? Did you agree with Sontag's assertion that Woolf's text is somewhat dated in its discussion of war photography?
This section contains 1,132 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)