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. How does Camus's essay about a prisoner on death row impact Styron's writing?

2. What happens before Styron meets with Camus?

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

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

5. What three factors does Styron name as contributing to depression?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Styron discover about himself in Paris, during one of his more lucid moments?

2. What did Camus speak of that so strongly affected Styron? What relationship did Styron have with Camus?

3. What did Styron say caused the incipient insomnia that depressed people often experienced?

4. What did the suicides of several of his friends, who had distinguished careers and were obviously intelligent and known for their strong character, cause Styron to do? How was his beliefs opposed to the general public view?

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

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

7. Styron gave little credence to his outpatient therapy, but said what about the 50 minutes involved?

8. What was Styron doing that was harming him, making his depression worse, though he thought it was helping?

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

10. What does Styron say about the causes of depression?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss in detail how Styron's illness affected him while he was in Paris to accept his award. Follow him through the course of that day and explain how changes in his mood affected him at various points during his activities that day. Explain his mood shifts by following the narrative as Styron reveals his moods to the reader.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss how Styron's depression and the influence of the writings of his friends impacted his writing. Discuss the influences can we see of not only his own depression, but the writings of Camus on Styron's work.

(see the answer keys)

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