Darkness Visible Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In addition to anxiety, what other characteristic of depression becomes manifest?

2. How did Lincoln attempt to vanquish death due to his own hand?

3. What happens to Styron's speech as he becomes more depressed?

4. What sort of people does Styron say is more prone to depression?

5. How does Styron explain his approach to his self-destruction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Styron takes offense at the limiting and uninformed perspective people use when assessing people who have either committed or attempted to commit suicide. He takes a totally opposite perspective. Discuss Styron's perspective toward those who suffer from depression to the point of suicide and use examples of what he uses to justify his perspective. Does his justification of his approach really justify his perspective, or is he biased? Why or why not?

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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