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 would make the state of limbo tolerable?

2. Why did Sacks dedicate his book to Luria?

3. Why was Sacks grateful to Dr. Henry Fleck?

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

5. Who has written about the "occasions of poetry" (pg 9)?

Short Essay Questions

1. What paradoxical command did Sacks find while he was in Limbo? How do you think this contrasted with his previous way of living?

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

3. Through what physical senses does Sacks reenter the world of men?

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

5. How many patients with neurological disorders did Sacks study following his recovery? What does this number say about the people involved?

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

7. 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?

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

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

10. Patients in the hospital are treated with fear and sometimes horror by the healthy people who visit them. Using Sacks's thoughts, what might be the reason for this?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

How does Sacks use dialogue throughout the story? How is the dialogue divided among the people in his life? What are the varying tones of the dialogue? What does the use of dialogue contribute to the story?

(see the answer keys)

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