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 does Styron say the award he received should have done for him?

2. What symptoms did Jarrell suffer from that caused Styron to believe in Jarrell's suicide?

3. What clues does Gary reveal that Styron later learns was probably signs of deep depression?

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

5. How long does Stryon say it will be before he returns to Paris?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Discuss why Styron was so appreciative of receiving the del Duca award?

3. Why wasn't Styron concerned about Camus, his ex-wife, and Gary when he learned they were suffering from depression?

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

5. How did Styron describe the internal struggle with depression? What was causing this internal struggle, beside just the depression?

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

7. What hope does Styron offer to those who survive depression?

8. What did Styron have to say about hospitalization for depressed people?

9. What other changes occurred with Styron beside mental distress?

10. What event caused Styron to realize he needed to go to the hospital?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

The difference between an autobiography and a memoir is that the memoir is about a specific topic or time span in the author's life. An autobiography is similar, but usually takes a more global look at the writer's life, including background information that leads up to the point in time of the events being examined. Discuss how Darkness Visible is a memoir, but has some characteristics of autobiography. Defend your idea of whether the work is a memoir or more of an autobiography. Use examples from the book to prove your position.

(see the answer keys)

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