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. To what did Sacks's various thoughts and themes eventually lead in the end?

2. What was the date when Sacks climbed the mountain?

3. What other word is connoted by the word "hell"?

4. What town's hospital was Sacks taken to first?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does the quote at the beginning of Chapter Four compare to Sacks's own words which begin the chapter?

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

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

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

7. On page 167, how is the account of this man's body-agnosia similar to Sacks'? How is it different?

8. While Sacks was lying in his small hospital room, what happened to his eyes? How was this transformation similar to his leg's injury?

9. 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?

10. 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.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

What would have made the state of Limbo tolerable? What parts did the ideas of "hole" and "Hell" play in this state? Did scotoma lead to Limbo or explain it?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

How does Sacks use dialogue throughout the story? How is the dialogue divided among the people in his life? What are the varying tones of the dialogue? What does the use of dialogue contribute to the story?

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