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. How did Sacks descend the mountain?

2. When did Sacks write the preface to the book?

3. Why was Sacks so happy that he could do fifty chin-ups?

4. Why did Sacks write to A. R. Luria?

5. How does Sacks describe the six-hour ambulance ride to the next hospital?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

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

4. What differences exist between the 1993 edition of the book and the previous editions? Without having read the previous edition, do you think these changes are positive?

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

6. What did Sacks do when he finally wanted to escape the convalescent home? How did the woman he met treat him differently than the hospital nurses had?

7. While in the hospital, Sacks felt morally and physically prostrate before the doctor. How do you think this happened?

8. Sacks's description of the Caster, Mr. Enoch, is amusingly melodramatic and terrified. In your opinion, why was Sacks scared of Mr. Enoch?

9. 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?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Following the surgery, Sacks's spirit entered into the "dark night of the soul" (Chapter Three, pg 86). Find another example of this in literature and compare the two instances. Analyze personalities, situations, and reactions in order to understand both.

Essay Topic 2

"We have art, in order that we may not perish from the truth" (Nietzsche, Chapter Three, pg 89). Why did Sacks believe this? How did he incorporate this idea into his recovery?

Essay Topic 3

What was Sacks's opinion of his leg while it was in the cast? Why did he have this opinion? Given what he says about his second injury some ten years later, how might he have changed this errant perception of his left leg in a cast?

(see the answer keys)

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