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. Who arranges a meeting between Albert Camus and Styron?

2. What reaction to the op-ed piece causes Styron to decide to write this memoir?

3. What characteristic of depression make Styron's memoir limited in benefit?

4. What does Styron say is the most universal symptom of depression?

5. What two substances contribute to Styron's depression?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who did Styron say the depressed person was dangerous to, and why?

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

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

4. What are some of the ways Styron indicated he had thought of as a means to commit his own suicide?

5. What role does Styron say friends and family play for the person with depression?

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

7. Why was depression such a hard thing for Styron in 1985?

8. Why did Styron say it was so hard for family members to accept a person's suicide, and what did they usually do about it?

9. What is known about the causes of depression, according to Styron?

10. What did Styron say about his physical condition after he got released from 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

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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