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. What does Sontag claim as our only connection with the dead?

2. Andy Warhol silk screened which of the following images of war as his only direct statement about the atrocity of war?

3. "Without Sanctuary" was a book of photographs taken of which of the following atrocities?

4. Georges Bataille, famous for his studies of the erotic, kept which of the following images on his desk?

5. Overall, Sontag seems to believe that images are ultimately 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. Describe the scene which Sontag refers to as the first description of bodies in anguish and identify the source of this description.

3. Why is a museum, in Sontag's opinion, an inappropriate place to display atrocity photographs?

4. Sontag discusses two widespread ideas about the influence of photography. What is the first idea? Discuss it including one example.

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

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

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

8. Sontag proposes that perhaps we place too much value on memory. What does she mean? Why does she posit this?

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

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 commented extensively on the ways in which war photography and atrocity centered journalism has evolved from the inception of photojournalism. Discuss your views on the evolution of war photography. Do you agree with Sontag's assertions? Why or why not? Draw on specific historical and contemporary examples to support your analysis.

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?

(see the answer keys)

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