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 analogy does Sacks refer to as he draws the relationship between science and art?
(a) Newton's apple.
(b) Galileo's earth.
(c) Einstein's theory of relativity.
(d) Archimedes' bathtub.

2. How did Sacks splint his leg?
(a) With a stick he found on the ground.
(b) With his umbrella.
(c) With his walking stick.
(d) With his right leg.

3. What vital support did the surgeon take away when he dismissed Sacks's concerns?
(a) Empathy.
(b) A listening ear.
(c) Human support.
(d) Professional support.

4. How did Sacks descend the mountain?
(a) By hobbling on his right leg.
(b) By rolling and sliding.
(c) By crawling.
(d) By "rowing" with his arms.

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

Short Answer 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?

2. When the father and his son rescued Sacks, what had they been doing just a moment before?

3. What was the name of the physiotherapist?

4. What was the public reaction to Sacks's first article about his leg?

5. What was the main injury that Sacks was able to identify?

Short Essay Questions

1. The night before his cast was taken off, Sacks repeatedly dreamed a nightmare. What was this nightmare? How did it reveal the conflict in his mind?

2. What did Sacks think when he saw his left leg for the first time in two weeks? How did his own thoughts tie into the doctor's summary of the recovery?

3. What advice did Sacks's maiden aunt give him? How does this advice come across on the printed page?

4. During his first night out of the hospital, Sacks wept in the doorway of the convalescent home. Briefly summarize his experiences so far to explain the tears.

5. Chapter Two begins with the idea that Sacks's story was over. How might the readership have been different if he had actually ended the story here?

6. What obvious differences existed between the injuries in Sacks's left leg and his right leg? What was the difference in their effects?

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

8. 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?

9. What was the life voice which Sacks heard on the mountain? How was this voice stronger than his circumstances?

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

(see the answer keys)

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