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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 did Levi commit suicide?
2. What does Styron say he will do with the prize money he won?
3. What does Styron say depression is like?
4. What does Styron believe about a depressed colleague's decision to ride with a reckless driver?
5. Where did Styron meet Hoffman?
Short Essay Questions
1. What did Styron say about the impression his intense thoughts of suicide would have on others?
2. What other changes occurred with Styron beside mental distress?
3. Who did Styron say the depressed person was dangerous to, and why?
4. As Styron contemplated and planned for his suicide, what two feelings did he describe?
5. What happened to Romain Gary, Styron's friend, as a result of his depression?
6. What is known about the causes of depression, according to Styron?
7. Why were the new medicines becoming available in the 1980's and Dr. Gold's approach to them indicative of how depression was viewed and treated during that time? Why was it not sufficient?
8. What happened to Styron's body as he succumbed to depression?
9. Why was depression such a hard thing for Styron in 1985?
10. How did Styron describe the internal struggle with depression? What was causing this internal struggle, beside just the depression?
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
Discuss Styron's comments and thoughts about the stigma associated with mental illness. Include his recommendations for how to overcome that stigma. Give examples from the book showing both his thoughts and his recommendations.
Essay Topic 3
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.
This section contains 1,987 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)