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. What is the title of Chapter One?

2. In what publication did Sacks's first article about his injury appear?

3. After he fell, what story did Sacks recall the villagers telling him?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. During the first night in the hospital whom did Sacks see in his dream? How did Sacks live to imitate this person?

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

3. 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?

4. How does Sacks describe the bull? How does this description show his change of heart from the time he read the warning sign?

5. When Sacks's right arm and shoulder were immobilized, what happened? What did this tell him about a person's body image?

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

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

8. When Sacks was in the hospital, why did he hesitate to write about his experience? What mindset change enabled him to write?

9. Who visited Sacks the evening after his operation? Why does he not mention these people again?

10. At the beginning of Chapter One, Sacks quotes Thomas Mann to say that the silent world receives and tolerates man but always remains menacing (pg 1). How does this relate to Sacks's experience in the world?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How did Sacks achieve the certainty which "bypassed the most complex mathematics" (Chapter Five, pg 121)? Was there any element of divinity in this certainty? How did this certainty relate to his idea of the world as a whole?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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