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 believe about a depressed colleague's decision to ride with a reckless driver?

2. Why would Jarrell's widow not want to admit he committed suicide?

3. What city is Styron in at the beginning of the memoir?

4. After Primo Levi's suicide, what causes Styron to question the common view that those who commit suicide are weak and inept?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What did Styron say is true of those who suffer from severe depression and recover?

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

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

5. What did Styron say about his physical condition after he got released from the hospital?

6. What sort of therapy was used to help Styron overcome his depression?

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

8. What reasons might be given for Styron not having been hospitalized earlier?

9. What effect did watching the flight of a flock of Canadian geese have on Styron?

10. What happened to Romain Gary, Styron's friend, as a result of his depression?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Styron takes offense at the limiting and uninformed perspective people use when assessing people who have either committed or attempted to commit suicide. He takes a totally opposite perspective. Discuss Styron's perspective toward those who suffer from depression to the point of suicide and use examples of what he uses to justify his perspective. Does his justification of his approach really justify his perspective, or is he biased? Why or why not?

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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