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 long did it take Sacks to reach the final understanding of his various thoughts?

2. How is the material in the last chapter presented?

3. According to the plane captain, what is the first lesson a patient must learn?

4. The night after his surgery, what was the first of Sacks's nightmares?

5. What vital support did the surgeon take away when he dismissed Sacks's concerns?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. With what quote does Sacks begin Chapter Three? How does this set the tone for the entire chapter?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. As Sacks began to regain freedom and move around the hospital, he frequently mentioned natural elements: the birds, sun, and wind. Given what you know of his personality, why are these things important?

6. 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.

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Note Dr. Swan's attitude toward Sacks's injury compared to Sacks's attitude. How do they differ? In Sacks's attitude toward his own injury, what are the elements of a physician? What are the elements of a patient? What does he think of Dr. Swan's professional opinion?

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

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)?

(see the answer keys)

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