A Leg to Stand On Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does Sacks think of his injury and recovery? Is this what you might have expected?

Sacks thinks of his injury and recovery in terms of wonder. The injury was a time of horror (which is inverted wonder), while the convalescence and recovery was a time of wonder. The experience as a whole gave him a better appreciation of the deep emotions which underlie common life. This is not necessarily what a reader would expect. In reading about a doctor, a reader might expect a more pragmatic view, something practical. Yet Sacks allows the mystical to creep into his understanding of the injury, and this bit of mysticism opens the experience to every reader. Though this interpretation is not what a reader might expect, it is in fact the fullest and best interpretation for such an injury.

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