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 was the name of the physiotherapist?

2. What was the primary reason that Sacks decided not to yell a second time?

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

4. When was Studies in Neurology published?

5. What question did Sacks want to ask the surgeon before surgery?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Chapter Two begins with the idea that Sacks's story was over. How might the readership have been different if he had actually ended the story here?

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

4. 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?

5. Sacks's description of the Caster, Mr. Enoch, is amusingly melodramatic and terrified. In your opinion, why was Sacks scared of Mr. Enoch?

6. During his descent off the mountain, what is Sacks's connection to humanity? How does this contrast to nature's impersonality?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Write full personality sketches of these three people: Nurse Solveig, Dr. Swan, and Miss Preston. What role does each person play in the recovery? What is Sacks's opinion of each? In what ways does each person hinder or help Sacks?

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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