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. What word does Sacks use most to describe the bull?
(a) Hideous.
(b) Vicious.
(c) Strong.
(d) Angry.

2. What was the date when Sacks climbed the mountain?
(a) The 23rd.
(b) The 24th.
(c) The 18th.
(d) The 7th.

3. Why did the staff nurse laugh at Sacks when he arrived in his room?
(a) Because he was joking about his cast.
(b) Because he told her a bawdy joke.
(c) Because he had packed fifty books and almost no clothes.
(d) Because he had difficulty walking.

4. Why was Sacks so happy that he could do fifty chin-ups?
(a) He wanted to impress the nurse.
(b) Only fifteen hours earlier, he had been delirious with fever.
(c) If his torso were strong again, his legs would regain strength more quickly.
(d) He did not have to get out of bed to exercise.

5. After he fell, what story did Sacks recall the villagers telling him?
(a) A Pole had been gored by the bull and bled to death.
(b) A Scotsman had died on exposure on the mountain exactly one year previously.
(c) An Englishman had broken both legs on the mountain earlier, though he survived.
(d) An Englishman had died on the mountain two weeks earlier.

Short Answer Questions

1. When Sacks began to write to Luria, where did Luria live?

2. What would happen if Sacks were not found by nightfall?

3. What did Sacks hope to see when he reached the mountain's summit?

4. What did Sacks experience with the father and son, which he had not experienced all day?

5. What question did Sacks want to ask the surgeon before surgery?

Short Essay Questions

1. What paradoxical command did Sacks find while he was in Limbo? How do you think this contrasted with his previous way of living?

2. 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?

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

4. What is the literary effect of Sacks's description of his injury? Why do you think the injury is not detailed later?

5. All of Chapter Five is devoted to the moment Sacks took his first step. What literary effect does this have on the book?

6. Sacks says that simply his ability to stand changed the world and his place in it. How did this happen?

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

8. How does Sacks describe his first few steps? How might this description be applied to another time in life, one which has never been described?

9. As Sacks began to regain freedom and move around the hospital, he frequently mentioned natural elements: the birds, sun, and wind. Given what you know of his personality, why are these things important?

10. During his descent off the mountain, what is Sacks's connection to humanity? How does this contrast to nature's impersonality?

(see the answer keys)

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