Darkness Visible 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 happens before Styron meets with Camus?

2. According to Styron, who wrote about depression and seemed to really understand it?

3. According to Styron, how many women have won the Prix Mondial Cino del Duca award?

4. Where does Styron spend his summers?

5. What is unusual about Styron's visit to Paris?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Styron say caused the incipient insomnia that depressed people often experienced?

2. What role does Styron say friends and family play for the person with depression?

3. What happened to Styron's body as he succumbed to depression?

4. What did Styron say about someone being able to describe depression?

5. What about the hospital was conducive to Styron's rapid recovery after months of intense suffering?

6. What happened to Styron's first work and what was its title?

7. What did Styron say was so harmful that doctors were prone to do for depressed people and why?

8. How did Styron begin preparing for his death?

9. Why did Cino del Duca, whom the award was named for, decide to publish works of literary merit?

10. What sort of attachments did Styron form as his depression progressed?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A "touchstone text" is a text that can be used to illustrate examples of components of a type of writing style. "Darkness Visible" could be used as a touchstone text for memoir writing. Some of the components of memoir writing are: 1) focus and reflection on the relationship between the writer and a particular topic; 2) explanation of the significance of the relationship; 3) provides one impression of the subject of the memoir; 4) is limited to a particular phase, time period, place, or recurring behavior in order to develop the focus fully; 5) makes the subject of the memoir come alive; and, 6) maintains a first person point of view. Discuss and give examples from "Darkness Visible" to indicate if Styron is successful with each of the six points.

Essay Topic 2

A memoir is somewhat like a figurative photograph of the writer. It may be like an individual photograph or a group photograph. It offers sensory and symbolic details that paint a picture of the writer at that point in time. Discuss how Styron uses sensory detail and symbolic writing to paint his picture. Give examples from the book of how he does this, including language he may have used.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Styron' s quote from his book, "A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You should live several lives while reading it." If this statement is indeed true, did Styron fulfill that quote? Explain why or why not. Do you agree with this quote? Give examples pinpointing the point from the book.

(see the answer keys)

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