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

2. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's perspective on approaching Europe?
(a) He became a citizen of the world.
(b) He became a 'defensive American.'
(c) He became a free-floating individual without a country.
(d) He abandoned his identity.

3. What stance did Emerson take on American literature?
(a) He said that it needed to learn its history from British literature.
(b) He said that it began with him.
(c) He celebrated it.
(d) He treated it as a narrow branch of British literature.

4. What does Richardson say Emerson felt after the birth of his son?
(a) Anxious.
(b) Immortal.
(c) Proud.
(d) Vulnerable.

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

6. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's feelings on returning to America?
(a) Depressed about coming home.
(b) Impatient to begin new work.
(c) Despairing about finding a career.
(d) Anxious about finding his family well.

7. How did Emerson change after opening Ellen's casket?
(a) He became morbid in his writing.
(b) He began to believe in the life of the spirit.
(c) He decided to focus on the living.
(d) He began to see the importance of scientific study.

8. What was Emerson like as a student?
(a) Exceptional.
(b) Middling.
(c) Distinguished.
(d) Unsuccessful.

9. In what movement does Richardson say was Lidian ahead of Emerson?
(a) Abolition.
(b) Women's suffrage.
(c) Opposition to the Indian Removal.
(d) Advocating the independence of American thought.

10. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's feelings about the changes he made after Ellen's death?
(a) Depression and doubt.
(b) Exhilaration and vision.
(c) Fear and freedom.
(d) Moderation and deliberation.

11. What does Emerson say reality is masked by?
(a) Daily routines.
(b) Culture.
(c) Human sinfulness.
(d) Imagination.

12. On whom did Emerson's reading focus after he graduated from Harvard?
(a) Scottish Common Sense philosophers.
(b) German Transcendentalists.
(c) Platonic philosophers.
(d) Romantic poets.

13. What was the Transcendental Club founded to discuss?
(a) The state of intellect in the U.S.
(b) The nature of God.
(c) The future of America.
(d) The possibility of transcendence.

14. Who died in 1834?
(a) Emerson's brother Charles.
(b) Mary Moody Emerson.
(c) Emerson's mother.
(d) Emerson's brother Edward.

15. Where did Emerson travel from South Carolina?
(a) New York.
(b) New England.
(c) Florida.
(d) Europe.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Richardson, what religious belief did Emerson turn toward while Ellen Tucker was dying?

2. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's second wife?

3. How old was Emerson when he met Thoreau?

4. How long did Ellen Tucker and Emerson know each other before they were engaged?

5. In what religious sect was Edward Taylor active?

(see the answer keys)

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