Emerson: The Mind on Fire: A Biography Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

Robert D. Richardson
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What does Richardson say his book illustrates in Emerson's life?
(a) His emotional life.
(b) His genius and his flaws.
(c) His literary development.
(d) His life as opposed to his reputation.

2. What vision did Emerson have in the Jardin de Plantes in Paris?
(a) He saw the life of culture.
(b) He saw the unity of all life.
(c) He saw the cruelty of evolution.
(d) He saw the future of science.

3. What trouble did the Emerson family encounter around the time of Emerson's engagement?
(a) His brother died of tuberculosis.
(b) His mother fell ill.
(c) His brother had a mental breakdown.
(d) His father died.

4. What was the Transcendental Club?
(a) A symposium.
(b) A lecture series.
(c) A school.
(d) A salon.

5. How did Emerson characterize Samuel Taylor Coleridge?
(a) As a living instance of the world-spirit.
(b) As a voice of the people.
(c) As a citizen of the universe.
(d) As a man of the hour.

6. What did Emerson suffer in 1837?
(a) Economic troubles.
(b) The loss of his son.
(c) The death of his brother.
(d) The loss of his wife.

7. Where does Richardson say Emerson's interest in religion came from?
(a) Mary Moody Emerson.
(b) His mother.
(c) His father.
(d) His brothers.

8. In what way did Emerson share a faith with Mary Rotch and the Quakers?
(a) Both believed in the necessity of deep and prolonged religious study.
(b) Both believed in the unity of the world-spirit.
(c) Both believed that the inner spirit took precedence over the Bible and external religion.
(d) Both believed that religion was about to be reinvented for modern times.

9. What did Emerson do when he returned from the South?
(a) Prepared to travel further abroad.
(b) Preached itinerantly.
(c) Looked for a wife.
(d) Taught at Harvard.

10. In what author did Emerson find guidance during Ellen Tucker's death?
(a) de Staël.
(b) Hume.
(c) Gerondo.
(d) Wordsworth.

11. What practice did Emerson begin in college?
(a) Sending money to his mother.
(b) Keeping a journal.
(c) Writing poetry.
(d) Holding dinner parties for intellectuals.

12. How did travel in Italy affect Emerson?
(a) He felt dwarfed by the history there.
(b) He was rejuvenated.
(c) He was overcome with awe.
(d) He became suspicious of Old World philosophy.

13. Who does Richardson credit with the birth of American Transcendentalism?
(a) Emerson.
(b) Frederic Hedge.
(c) Jones Very.
(d) Bronson Alcott.

14. What does Richardson say is the immovable anchor in Emerson's thought?
(a) That the mind is connected to everything.
(b) That individuality is divinity.
(c) That the mind is unique in history.
(d) That man can know God's mind.

15. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's household in 1835-1836?
(a) Quiet with illness.
(b) Shaken by crisis.
(c) Quiet with work.
(d) Bustling with ideas.

Short Answer Questions

1. Where did Emerson move, in advance of writing Nature?

2. What were Emerson's religious beliefs tending toward, at the time of his ordination?

3. The Mind on Fire is the story of what?

4. What was Emerson's family's economic status when Emerson was in college?

5. What was Emerson's relationship with his reading?

(see the answer keys)

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