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. Though the death of the poet, Randall Jarrell, was ruled accidental, why does Styron say it was probably suicide?

2. What Camus novel has a profound impact on Styron?

3. How does Styron's body feel in the beginning of his depression?

4. Who is the doctor from Johns Hopkins who gave the name depression to the disease?

5. What does Styron say would cause many depression-related suicides?

Short Essay Questions

1. What did Styron say about his physical condition after he got released from the hospital?

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

3. As Styron contemplated and planned for his suicide, what two feelings did he describe?

4. Who did Styron say the depressed person was dangerous to, and why?

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

6. What does Styron say about the causes of depression?

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

8. What happened to Styron's first work and what was its title?

9. What was Styron doing that was harming him, making his depression worse, though he thought it was helping?

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

Discuss Styron's opinions about the roles biology (genetics, brain chemicals, and influence of meds and alcohol) and environmental factors have in the development of depression. Use passages from the book to support your answers.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Discuss Styron's thoughts about human resiliency and social report and provide examples from the book. How important are each of these to an individual's recovery and survival?

(see the answer keys)

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