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. For Sontag, the impression that there are more news of atrocity is probably which of the following?

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

3. According to Sontag, if one feels sympathy for the victims of suffering, it helps ensure that one cannot be ___________.

4. Which of the following best describes the "CNN effect" as discussed by Sontag?

5. Which of the following does Sontag suggest is an ethical act?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

5. 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.

6. Sontag claims that a book is still the best medium for circulating images of atrocity. Name the three reasons she provides.

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

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

9. Ultimately, Sontag notes that to discuss the desensitization of all television viewers is a provincial move, at best. Why does she argue this?

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

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 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.

Essay Topic 3

On witnessing suffering in a photograph, are we morally or ethically obligated to be emotionally moved? Sontag suggested that perhaps the viewer should not feel ashamed for not feeling a reaction. Do you agree or disagree? Support your position with a discussion of the ethics of witnessing suffering from such a distance.

(see the answer keys)

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