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. During one sleepless episode, what does Styron realize about his illness?

2. Where does Styron spend his summers?

3. What does Styron say about not returning to France?

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

5. What drugs does Styron's doctor give him that are NOT recommended for people with depression?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Styron say was his most difficult piece of writing, and how did he describe it?

2. What advice did Styron give for the person suffering from depression?

3. How did Styron begin preparing for his death?

4. Why was the suicide of Albert Camus and Romain Gary so devastating to Styron?

5. How did Dr. Gold's approach compare to the way the parish priest approached Emma in "Madame Bovary"?

6. For the most part, the people Styron list as suffering from depression are artistic types or philosophers. Discuss why this may be so?

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

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

9. What statistics did Styron give about depression and suicide?

10. What was the paradox Styron described about the hospital as opposed to his own home?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the possible meaning Camus had when he talked about man's alienation for other men. What does this perspective mean, given his diagnosis of depression? Would he have seen the world the same way if he had not suffered depression? Do you think Styron agreed with him? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss what Styron's purpose is for writing "Darkness Visible." What might he want us to know and understand about his subject? Include what he states openly as well as what you understand him to want to say. Why does he think it is important to make us understand this?

Essay Topic 3

One of the characteristics of a good memoir is for the author to take one position in relevance to the topic. Does Styron effectively take one position in relation to depression? Give proof of your position from the book. What references from the book support his taking a certain stance, or did he fail to do that? What is his position (s) in reference to depression?

(see the answer keys)

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