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 no one has a right to which of the following?

2. Sontag refutes the possibility of a suggestion she made in "On Photography". Which of the following ideas did she refute?

3. At the time Sontag wrote the book, many felt what which of the following made atrocity photographs immoral?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does our contemporary view of suffering differ from earlier, more traditional Western views?

4. 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.

5. 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?

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

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

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

9. How does Sontag refute claims that photography is somehow inherently more voyeuristic than other forms of observation?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

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