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. Why would Jarrell's widow not want to admit he committed suicide?

2. How does Styron feel about his Connecticut farmhouse?

3. What effect does Styron's op-ed piece have on the general public?

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

5. Which group of people does depression never happen to?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What happened to Romain Gary, Styron's friend, as a result of his depression?

4. Discuss the death of the poet, Randall Jarrell, who was a friend of Styron's. Was his death a suicide or accident, according to the coroner? What did Styron suspect, and why?

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

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

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

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 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

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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