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. Although Sontag is pessimistic about the broad effects of atrocity photographs, she did mention one positive outcome. What was it?

2. In discussing images that remind us of death, Sontag references a particular 1943 photograph. What is the subject of this photograph?

3. Which of the following is an account of a man's last hours before his execution at the guillotine?

4. In transforming an event or person into something that can be owned, photographs:

5. "Dead Troops Talk (A Vision After an Ambush of a Red Army Patrol near Moqor, Afghanistan, Winter 1986" was a photograph taken by which of the following types of photographer?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Sontag discusses Sebastiao Salgado's series entitled "Migrations: Humanity in Transition" and points out one very problematic effect of the series. Discuss this effect.

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

4. 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.

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

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

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

8. Discuss the significance of the photograph's intended purpose. If a photograph is intended to convey a message, but because of the context in which it is displayed does not, is the photograph still successful?

9. 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.

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 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?

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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