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. How long did Ellen Tucker and Emerson know each other before they were engaged?
(a) Less than a year.
(b) Three years.
(c) Five years.
(d) Two years.

2. What was Emerson's relationship with his reading?
(a) He tried to remain independent of what he read.
(b) He tried to lose himself in his reading.
(c) He tried to inhabit each author's mind.
(d) He tried to claim the experiences contained in each book.

3. Where did Emerson and Lidian settle down after marrying?
(a) Walden Pond.
(b) Concord.
(c) Boston.
(d) Cambridge.

4. What career paths was Emerson torn between?
(a) Preaching and writing.
(b) Law and teaching.
(c) Preaching and law.
(d) Farming and writing.

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

6. How did Emerson describe Ellen Tucker?
(a) Sensitive and religious.
(b) Beautiful, with a vibrant spirit.
(c) Strong-willed and supportive.
(d) Rhapsodic and angelic.

7. Where did Emerson move, in advance of writing Nature?
(a) His step-grandfather Ezra Ripley's house.
(b) Mary Moody Emerson's house.
(c) His mother's house.
(d) His brother's house.

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

9. Who was Emerson reading at the time he fell in love with Lydia Jackson?
(a) Fuller.
(b) Hegel.
(c) Hume.
(d) Goethe.

10. What was Emerson lecturing on while he was courting Lidian?
(a) Science.
(b) Biography.
(c) History.
(d) Literature.

11. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's internal state in 1837?
(a) Placid.
(b) Self-critical.
(c) Tumultuous.
(d) Self-assured.

12. What 1837 event related to slavery does Richardson say affected Emerson's emotional state?
(a) The passage of the Fugitive Slave Law.
(b) The removal of the Cherokee.
(c) The murder of an abolitionist.
(d) The Missouri compromise.

13. Where does Richardson say Emerson and his brothers got their most profound education?
(a) Mary Moody Emerson.
(b) Ruth Haskins.
(c) Their father.
(d) Harvard.

14. What idea did Emerson return to many times after giving his speech on American Scholar?
(a) The unity of things.
(b) The importance of marriage.
(c) The uniqueness of America.
(d) The omnipotence of God.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. How old was Emerson when he met Thoreau?

2. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's relationship with his brothers?

3. In what author did Emerson find guidance during Ellen Tucker's death?

4. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's relation to other writers?

5. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's perspective on approaching Europe?

(see the answer keys)

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