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 insists that images may be ineffective; however, they do serve one basic and significant function. What is that function?

2. Which two things does Sontag say seem to go together?

3. According to Sontag, a person who fails to recognize that people are capable of committing atrocities has failed to achieve which of the following?

4. Which nation's army was represented in Wall's photograph?

5. Which of the following terms does Sontag define as a commonly used term for those whose profession like journalists takes them into war zones?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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

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

6. 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.

7. Sontag discusses two widespread ideas about the influence of photography. Sontag notes that the second idea might seem to be the converse of the first. What is the second idea? Discuss the second idea using support from the book.

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. 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?

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

Why might a group of people be more sensitive to images of its members in pain? For instance, why might Americans be more sensitive to images of American citizens in pain? Why, do you think, people are less sensitive to the suffering of "others" outside their own social, cultural, or national grouping?

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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