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. Who inspired and encouraged Sacks to finish his book?

2. What was Luria's response to Sacks's story?

3. Shortly after the sun set, what extraordinary auditory experience did Sacks have?

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

5. What name did Sacks give his windowless hospital room?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. The night before his cast was taken off, Sacks repeatedly dreamed a nightmare. What was this nightmare? How did it reveal the conflict in his mind?

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

5. What distinction does Freud make between types of paralyses? How did the distinction pave the way for a significantly narrow view of neurology?

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

7. What is anosognosis? What problem does this state present to medical researchers?

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

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

10. What meals does Sacks describe most from his time in the hospital? What do these meals say about his frame of mind at each time?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"I was rather pleased to be compared with a dog--I much preferred it to being called 'unique.' And it brought home something about the elemental nature of the animal soul and animal motion, and about spontaneity, musicality, animation" (Chapter Six, pg 194). Explain this quote: when was Sacks compared with a dog? When was he referred to as unique? What element of movement and music was contained in this situation?

Essay Topic 2

How does Sacks describe his first ten minutes of walking again (Chapter Five, pgs 123-24)? How did this return him to the moment of humanity? How does this compare to Donne's quote at the beginning of Chapter Two?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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