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

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

3. What book of the Bible does Sacks quote at the beginning of Chapter Three?

4. The night before the operation, Sacks called up his family and friends. What did he tell them could happen if he were to die during the operation?

5. What did Sacks hope to see when he reached the mountain's summit?

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. 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?

3. How was Miss Preston, the physiotherapist, more understanding than the surgeon had been? How did her understanding still fall short of the problem?

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

5. What happened after Sacks tried to catch the bus outside the Kilburn pool? How did this exactly match his previous experiences?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What two distinctions did Sacks make for his attitudes while he was in Limbo? How were these distinctions borne out throughout his recovery (though he didn't allude to them so obviously after his time in Limbo)?

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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