A Leg to Stand On Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. The night before the operation, Sacks called up his family and friends. What did he tell them could happen if he were to die during the operation?
(a) His property should be auctioned off.
(b) They could publish anything from his notebooks that they saw fit.
(c) His property should be divided fairly among his family.
(d) His valuable property should be donated to charity.

2. What role did Mary-Kay Wilmers play in Sacks's recovery?
(a) She nursed him in the hospital after his surgery.
(b) She suggested and edited his article entitled "The Leg."
(c) She nursed him in the convalescent home.
(d) She served as the impetus for his philosophical musings about his injury.

3. According to Sacks, why does he not end his story after his rescue?
(a) The accident is closely connected to the story of recovery.
(b) The focus of the book is the recovery, not the accident.
(c) He had so many ideas left to convey.
(d) The book was not long enough to stop.

4. To what did Sacks's various thoughts and themes eventually lead in the end?
(a) A personal, religious faith.
(b) A deeper understanding of the patient-doctor relationship.
(c) A critique of modern neurological medicine.
(d) A reaffirmation of modern neurological medicin.

5. In what publication did Sacks's first article about his injury appear?
(a) New York Times Book Review.
(b) London Review of Books.
(c) New York Times.
(d) Atlantic Monthly.

Short Answer Questions

1. When riding to the hospital where he would be operated on, Sacks felt dread. How was this different from the dread he had felt on the mountain?

2. What was the first exercise that Sacks tried to do with the physiotherapist?

3. What is the essential idea of Thomas Mann's quote?

4. What was the primary reason that Sacks and his friends celebrated the evening after his surgery?

5. To what poor instrument did Sacks compare his injured leg?

Short Essay Questions

1. When touching his left leg for the first time after surgery, what did Sacks feel? How does his description of this moment pave the way for the truth about the leg?

2. Sacks notes that "body-image is dynamic and plastic" (Afterword, pg 194). What does this mean?

3. Patients in the hospital are treated with fear and sometimes horror by the healthy people who visit them. Using Sacks's thoughts, what might be the reason for this?

4. How many patients with neurological disorders did Sacks study following his recovery? What does this number say about the people involved?

5. Sacks discovered, to his horror, that his mental and moral boundaries had shrunk to the limits of the hospital. What does this mean? How did this differ from his mindset before the accident?

6. When Sacks's right arm and shoulder were immobilized, what happened? What did this tell him about a person's body image?

7. What distinction does Freud make between types of paralyses? How did the distinction pave the way for a significantly narrow view of neurology?

8. Leontev and Zaporozhet's book dealt with two hundred soldiers who suffered hand injuries. What was Sacks's reaction to the book? How did it help his healing process?

9. What does the detail from Sacks's journal explain? How does this excerpt capture the split between doctor and patient, which is captured in one person?

10. During the late afternoon, what silence did Sacks experience? Why was this terrifying?

(see the answer keys)

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