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Contoh Soal TOEFL Reading Comprehension: Robert Capa & War Photography

Latihan soal reading comprehension selanjutnya akan mengangkat cerita tentang sosok bernama Robert Capa, yang identic dengan dunia fotografi perang.

Artikel di bawah ini akan membahas tentang kiprahnya di dunia fotografi, lengkap dengan keterkaitannya dengan sejarah. Mari kita mulai latihannya, yuk!


Robert Capa is a name that has for many years been synonymous with war photography.

Born in Hungary in 1913 as Friedmann Endre Ernő, Capa was forced to leave his native country after his involvement in anti government protests.

Capa had originally wanted to become a writer, but after his arrival in Berlin had first found work as a photographer. He later left Germany and moved to France due to the rise in Nazism. He tried to find work as a freelance journalist and it was here that he changed his name to Robert Capa, mainly because he thought it would sound more American.

In 1936, after the breakout of the Spanish Civil war, Capa went to Spain and it was here over the next three years that he built his reputation as a war photographer. It was here too in 1936 that he took one of his most famous pictures,

The Death of a Loyalist Soldier. One of Capa’s most famous quotes was ‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’ And he took his attitude of getting close to the action to an extreme. His photograph,

The Death of a Loyalist Soldier is a prime example of this as Capa captures the very moment the soldier falls. However, many have questioned the authenticity of this photograph, claiming that it was staged.

When World War II broke out, Capa was in New York, but he was soon back in Europe covering the war for Life magazine. Some of his most famous work was created on 6th June 1944 when he swam ashore with the first assault on Omaha Beach in the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Capa, armed only with two cameras, took more than one hundred photographs in the first hour of the landing, but a mistake in the darkroom during the drying of the film destroyed all but eight frames.

It was the images from these frames however that inspired the visual style of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar winning movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’. When Life magazine published the photographs, they claimed that they were slightly out of focus, and Capa later used this as the title of his autobiographical account of the war.

Capa’s private life was no less dramatic. He was friend to many of Hollywood’s directors, actors and actresses. In 1943 he fell in love with the wife of actor John Austin.

His affair with her lasted until the end of the war and became the subject of his war memoirs. He was at one time lover to actress Ingrid Bergman. Their relationship finally ended in 1946 when he refused to settle in Hollywood and went off to Turkey.

In 1947 Capa was among a group of photojournalists who founded Magnum Photos. This was a co-operative organisation set up to support photographers and help them to retain ownership of the copyright to their work.

Capa went on to document many other wars. He never attempted to glamorise war though, but to record the horror. He once said, “The desire of any war photographer is to be put out of business.”

Capa died as he had lived. After promising not to photograph any more wars, he accepted an assignment to go to Indochina to cover the first Indochina war.

On May 25th 1954 Capa was accompanying a French regiment when he left his jeep to take some photographs of the advance and stepped on a land mine.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, still clutching his camera, but was pronounced dead on arrival. He left behind him a testament to the horrors of war and a standard for photojournalism that few others have been able to reach.

Capa’s legacy has lived on though and in 1966 his brother Cornell founded the International Fund for Concerned Photography in his honor.

There is also a Robert Capa Gold Medal, which is given to the photographer who publishes the best photographic reporting from abroad with evidence of exceptional courage. But perhaps his greatest legacy of all are the haunting images of the human struggles that he captured.

1. Why did Capa change his name?

Pilihan jawaban:

a. to hide his identity
b. because he had been involved in portests
to sound more American
because he had to leave Hungary

Jawaban atas pertanyaan ini terdapat pada paragraf kedua yang menjelaskan fase hidup Capa saat memulai karir sebagai jurnalis paruh waktu. Jawaban yang tepat adalah (C).


2. Capa originally wanted to be…

Pilihan jawaban:

a. A photojournalist
b. A writer
c. American
d. A protestor

Masih dalam paragraf yang sama, dijelaskan bahwa Capa sedari dulu bercita-cita menjadi seorang penulis, sehingga jawaban yang tepat adalah (B).


3. Capa’s famous picture Death of a Loyalist Soldier…

Pilihan jawaban:

a. Was taken by someone else.
b. Was definitely genuine.
Wasn’t even taken in Spain.
d. Can’t be proven genuine or staged.

Dalam paragraf 3, dijelaskan tentang karya Capa yaitu Death of a Loyalist Soldier yang membawa namanya menjadi kian populer, namun diragukan keasliannya. Jawaban yang tepat adalah (D).


4. Which sentence best paraphrases paragraph 5?

Pilihan jawaban:

a. Capa had a tragic private life and was never able to settle down and find happiness.
b. Despite having many good friends and lovers, Capa always put his work first.
c. Capa wanted to make friends with important people in Hollywood so that he could move into the movie industry.
d. Capa’s private life was very complicated. He could not choose between the two women he loved, so he went off to work in Turkey.

Jawaban (B) menjelaskan paling tepat paragraf 5 yang menjelaskan tentang karir dan pertemanan Capa.


Karya Robert Capa ternyata yang menginspirasi sutradara Steven Spielberg dalam meramu filmnya, Saving Private Ryan. Menarik ya, membaca latihan soal sekaligus mendapatkan wawasan baru dari isinya seperti ini. Terus berlatih, kami masih punya banyak artikel menarik untuk bahan latihan reading comprehension kamu.