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. In what way does Styron's depression come upon him?

2. What does Styron lose at the luncheon in Paris?

3. What did Styron's friend, Abbie Hoffman, do professionally?

4. What does Styron realize in Paris that helps him understand what is happening to him?

5. Styron calls depression:

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What was special about Styron's situation with depression?

3. Why were the new medicines becoming available in the 1980's and Dr. Gold's approach to them indicative of how depression was viewed and treated during that time? Why was it not sufficient?

4. What sort of therapy was used to help Styron overcome his depression?

5. How did Styron begin preparing for his death?

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

7. What did Styron tell the reader about the incidence of depression and artistic types? Who are some artistic types who suffered from depression?

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

9. What is known about the causes of depression, according to Styron?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the possible meaning Camus had when he talked about man's alienation for other men. What does this perspective mean, given his diagnosis of depression? Would he have seen the world the same way if he had not suffered depression? Do you think Styron agreed with him? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Styron' s quote from his book, "A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You should live several lives while reading it." If this statement is indeed true, did Styron fulfill that quote? Explain why or why not. Do you agree with this quote? Give examples pinpointing the point from the book.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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