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

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why was Sacks grateful to Dr. Henry Fleck?

2. According to Sacks, why does he not end his story after his rescue?

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

4. What did Sacks find astonishing about his wound?

5. Sacks climbed a particular stretch of ground in just over an hour. How long did it take him to descend this same stretch?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How did Sacks move from the world of freedom into the world of the hospital? How might this have contributed to his thought that the operation on the following day would actually be an execution?

3. Through what physical senses does Sacks reenter the world of men?

4. 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?

5. How does Sacks describe his arrival at the convalescent home? What particular words contribute to the picture he draws?

6. 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?

7. How did Sacks treat the warning sign about the bull? What does this reveal about his attitude?

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

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

10. What is the most basic purpose of classical neurology? As can be inferred from the purpose of Sacks's book, how does classical neurology fall short?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What aspect of nature had Sacks forgotten about while he lay in his hospital bed? How does this compare to his previous lifestyle: hiking, swimming, etc?

Essay Topic 2

What vital support did the surgeon take away when he dismissed Sacks's concerns? When was this support returned? How did Sacks change his career so that he could give this particular support to the patients he treated?

Essay Topic 3

Write full personality sketches of these three people: Nurse Solveig, Dr. Swan, and Miss Preston. What role does each person play in the recovery? What is Sacks's opinion of each? In what ways does each person hinder or help Sacks?

(see the answer keys)

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