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 did Sacks think when he woke from the surgery?

2. What analogy does Sacks refer to as he draws the relationship between science and art?

3. When Nurse Solveig returned to take out Sacks's thermometer, what emotion did she convey?

4. Who inspired and encouraged Sacks to finish his book?

5. What was the name of the surgeon who performed Sacks's knee surgery?

Short Essay Questions

1. Sacks says that simply his ability to stand changed the world and his place in it. How did this happen?

2. While descending the mountain, what vision did Sacks cling to? Why do you think this was the picture he chose?

3. During the late afternoon, what silence did Sacks experience? Why was this terrifying?

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. What timeline does Sacks establish for the development of neurology? What is still lacking from this branch of science?

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

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

8. A large portion of the horror Sacks felt in Limbo was the silence. What other time has Sacks experienced such deep silence? How does this connection contribute to Limbo?

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

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

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

Describe the world of the convalescent home. How did Sacks change and grow stronger here? What did he learn about himself? How did the convalescent home allow him to approach the world again?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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