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 is Styron not able to recover?

2. How old was Styron when he published his first novel?

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

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

5. What reaction does Styron have to a flock of Canadian geese?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What did Styron say about the impression his intense thoughts of suicide would have on others?

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

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

5. For the most part, the people Styron list as suffering from depression are artistic types or philosophers. Discuss why this may be so?

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

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

8. Styron describes what common factor among almost all depressed persons contemplating suicide?

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

10. What term did Stryon say was a more apt description of depression than that word itself?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Styron suggests that brainstorm would be a better name for the physical ramifications of depression, but brainstorm means the opposite of what he meant it to be. What does brainstorm mean, as used normally, and what is it as Styron meant it? Compare and contrast the two meanings.

(see the answer keys)

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