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 is NOT one of the adjectives Sontag uses to describe the indescribable experience of war?

2. Which of the following poets expressed concerns about the effect of national-scale events on human sensibility in 1800?

3. When Baudelaire expressed his concerns about the effects of the newspaper in 1860, which of the following was true?

4. Discussing the common person's ability to feel sympathy, Sontag argues which of the following?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Sontag say that "it is not necessarily better to be moved?" Discuss the negative aspects of sentimentality.

2. What is unusual about Wall's "Dead Troops Talk (A Vision After an Ambush of a Red Army Patrol near Moqor, Afghanistan, Winter 1986)?" Discuss two aspects of the work that separate it from others like it.

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

4. Why did the people of Sarajevo object to having scenes of their war represented alongside scenes of the conflict in Somalia?

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

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

8. Sontag suggests that Wall's work affirms the normalcy of war. How so?

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Select a work of war protest art which Sontag discussed in detail in this book. Formulate your own argument regarding the effectiveness of the piece. Was Sontag correct in her assertions? Why or why not? What does the work attempt to accomplish? What does it succeed or fail to do? Provide specific support and evidence for your assertions.

Essay Topic 2

Throughout Sontag's argument, gender norms and expectations emerge as contributing factors in the way individuals receive images. How does Sontag treat these gendered expectations? Do you agree with Sontag's assertions on this issue? Why or why not? Discuss the differences in the ways men and women receive photographs of war and atrocity as well as the way publishing companies think about their audiences in terms of gender.

Essay Topic 3

Media coverage of the Vietnam War produced a mass outcry against war, while the media coverage of 9/11 produced more divergent effects on individuals. What do you think accounts for this difference? Is it perhaps the difference between a far-off conflict and an attack at "home"? Is it perhaps something in the nature of the wars themselves? Is it the difference in media coverage? Or is it something altogether different? Defend your position with evidence and support.

(see the answer keys)

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