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 three factors does Styron name as contributing to depression?

2. Why is Styron so sad about Hoffman's suicide?

3. What puzzles Styron about Camus's book, "The Fall"?

4. Styron agrees with what literary guide's belief?

5. According to Styron, what do people closest to those who commit suicide often do?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is the relationship between artistic temperaments and suicide and what was Styron's appeal in relationship to it?

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

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

6. Why was the suicide of Albert Camus and Romain Gary so devastating to Styron?

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

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

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

10. What was the paradox Styron described about the hospital as opposed to his own home?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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