Either/Or 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. What does the author say is the defect of his era?

2. What does the author say his era has discerned about romantic love very well?

3. What system does the author say he observed while he was a guest in the home of a young married couple?

4. Into what two categories does the author say he can divide the difficulties in marriage?

5. Why is "sympathetic" depression noble according to the author of the letter?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the author say that dealing with the young man is a most difficult task?

2. What is the author's problem with the vows in the marriage ceremony?

3. Why does the author write that an exploration of the aesthetic significance of marriage might seem superfluous?

4. Why are erotic love and marriage irreconcilable according to the author?

5. Why does the author write that marriage belongs to Christianity?

6. How does the author distinguish between the erotic embrace and the marital embrace?

7. How many types of love does the author write there are? What are they?

8. What does the author write is "unhappy love?"

9. What interests the author in a certain engraving dramatizing the story of Cain and Abel?

10. What does the author write first love is for "happy individualities?"

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author of the letter and the recipient of the letter are of two different generations. Discuss the impact of generational differences on the two characters' attitudes. For example how do the younger man and the older man each understand the concept of love and of relations between the sexes. Also the older man makes frequent reference to his generation's problems with contemporary social trends. What are these? Discuss citing specific examples.

Essay Topic 2

Much of EITHER/OR takes the form of a letter written from an older man to a younger man. How does Kierkegaard use this format to accomplish his goals with the book? How might the message of the book feel different if it took another form? Discuss citing specific examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

The author discusses depression at length in EITHER/OR. Why does the author assert men become depressed? When is depression virtuous and when is it self-indulgent? What does the author assert is the nature of his own depression? What does the author assert is the nature of the young man's depression? How does the author advise the young man to handle his melancholy. Discuss citing specific examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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