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 realize in Paris that helps him understand what is happening to him?

2. What does Styron believe about a depressed colleague's decision to ride with a reckless driver?

3. What does Styron think after his flashback?

4. Why is it hard for Styron to recognize depression in his friend, Gary?

5. What does the suicide of another of Styron's friends lead him to believe?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Styron refuse to go to a luncheon with Simone del Duca, even though he had made an appointment to do so?

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

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

4. What hope does Styron offer to those who survive depression?

5. Discuss how Styron says he attempted to handle the increasing malaise that began to overcome him beginning in the summer.

6. What did the diary represent to Styron? What did he do with it?

7. What happened to Styron's body as he succumbed to depression?

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

9. What statistics did Styron give about depression and suicide?

10. Why did Cino del Duca, whom the award was named for, decide to publish works of literary merit?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Critics have indicated that Styron left much of his personal journey out of the book. As a memoir of madness, we might expect, and deserve, to read more of Styron's journey through madness. Yet, he didn't include it. Why might this be? Would the book have been better or worse if more detail of the struggle had been included? Do you think leaving out the information was by plan or by accident? Why?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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