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. Though depression tends to recur, what advantage do sufferers of recurrence have?

2. Why does Styron say he was betrayed the summer before he was hospitalized?

3. What reason does Styron give for taking the prescribed medicines without question?

4. What is Styron's diary a symbol of?

5. Why does he throw his diary in the garbage instead of burning it?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The difference between an autobiography and a memoir is that the memoir is about a specific topic or time span in the author's life. An autobiography is similar, but usually takes a more global look at the writer's life, including background information that leads up to the point in time of the events being examined. Discuss how Darkness Visible is a memoir, but has some characteristics of autobiography. Defend your idea of whether the work is a memoir or more of an autobiography. Use examples from the book to prove your position.

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

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.

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