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 two substances contribute to Styron's depression?

2. What does Styron say he will do with the prize money he won?

3. Why is Styron not worried about the loss?

4. What does Styron call the DSM?

5. What does Styron believe about a depressed colleague's decision to ride with a reckless driver?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Discuss how Styron says he attempted to handle the increasing malaise that began to overcome him beginning in the summer.

3. Where did Styron meet Abbie Hoffman, and why was Hoffman's suicide so hard to accept?

4. Why did Styron say he believes he lost the award check?

5. What was special about Styron's situation with depression?

6. 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?

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

8. What indications of Gary's depression did Styron mention?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Even though it is nonfiction, a good memoir develops the characters through description, dialogue, and characterization, much as is done in fiction. Describe and give examples of how Styron develops his characters to make them interesting and insure the audience is sympathetic to them. Did he effectively develop his characters? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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.

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