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. Andy Warhol silk screened which of the following images of war as his only direct statement about the atrocity of war?

2. Sontag writes that provocative images may have which of the following effects on viewers?

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

4. Sontag argues that there are two extreme positions on a spectrum of war experience which create the same idea that images of war are no longer emotionally-jarring for an audience? Which two positions are they?

5. Sontag claims that some photographs which are "repulsive" can also ________.

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. 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?

7. Although there are more images broadcast, Sontag suggests that the human response to suffering is relatively unchanged. Discuss Sontag's views on our capacity for dealing with suffering.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout Sontag's argument, gender norms and expectations emerge as contributing factors in the way individuals receive images. How does Sontag treat these gendered expectations? Do you agree with Sontag's assertions on this issue? Why or why not? Discuss the differences in the ways men and women receive photographs of war and atrocity as well as the way publishing companies think about their audiences in terms of gender.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Are images sufficient to provoke anti-war sentiment? Sontag ultimately concluded that photographs alone could not achieve this end. Do you agree or disagree? Are some images striking, shocking, horrifying, or compelling enough to effect change? Do some of Sontag's examples, such as the coverage of the Vietnam War, work for or against her assertion?

(see the answer keys)

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