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. In portraying horrors, Leonardo da Vinci encouraged artists to be:

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

3. What did Wall's photograph enable soldiers to do that they could not do in "real" life?

4. A famous campaign for Benetton used which of the following images in its advertising?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Sontag claims that there is historical evidence to suggest that, despite contemporary belief, war has always been the norm, and peace the exception to that norm. Discuss one of the examples Sontag provided.

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

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

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

7. Why does Sontag refer to the argument that image-glut desensitizes us to images of suffering as "conservative"?

8. 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?

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

10. Discuss the photograph that Georges Batailles kept on his desk. Why does Sontag discuss this particular photograph?

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

Sontag's book focused, in part, on the ethical or moral ramifications of witnessing war. In particular, she explored the ethics of war representations which capture "full frontal" images of the suffering of others, but almost always shy away from such graphic depictions of the suffering of people like the anticipated audience. Do you agree that this tendency exists in photojournalism? Why or why not?

If you think it does, is there an ethical dilemma inherent in this unbalanced depiction?

If you think it does not, discuss how and why the news media avoid this. Provide examples to counter those Sontag provides.

Essay Topic 3

Sontag asserted that perceptions of pain have changed in the modern world. She cited religious narratives and iconography to support her assertion that traditionally pain was seen as a form of sacrifice or trial through which one was rewarded, then discussed the shift in modern society in which pain is perceived as punishment for or consequence of one's actions. Do you agree? Has there been a change in the way "we" perceive suffering? If you agree, what might account for this shift? If you disagree, what evidence can you cite to support your point?

(see the answer keys)

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