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 claims that Bataille could see extreme pain as a form of __________.

2. Concerned with the public health risk posed by cigarette smoking, officials in which country suggested that images of black lungs, damaged hearts or periodontal disease be included on the warning label for tobacco products?

3. In order to take pleasure in suffering, Sontag argues that one must necessarily have which of the following?

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

5. How many soldiers did Wall's photograph depict?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. According to Sontag, why is there no museum dedicated to the victims of the slave trade?

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

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

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. Why does Sontag refer to the argument that image-glut desensitizes us to images of suffering as "conservative"?

8. Discuss Sontag's assertion that some images serve as memento mori. What does she mean? How do they serve this purpose?

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

10. 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.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Sontag drew parallels between photography and voyeurism, as well as war photography and pornography. How do you feel about these comparisons? Explore these connections using images of your own. Is there, in fact, a similar feeling evoked by both images? Can something repulsive be beautiful? Can something beautiful be repulsive?

Essay Topic 3

Sontag also traced the relationship between the presence of the press and the practice of war-making. In one example, she discussed the execution of a suspected Vietcong soldier by Brigadier General Loan, suggesting that the execution was a performance for the photographer present on the scene. Does media coverage affect the waging of war? Are journalists neutral and uninvolved? Discuss the relationship between journalists' presence and soldiers' behavior. Provide specific examples.

(see the answer keys)

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