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

2. What limitation does Emerson describe in Christianity in his Divinity School Address?
(a) That the church was corrupt.
(b) That no institution can interpose between man and God.
(c) That historical Christianity is founded on the Bible, not human nature.
(d) That priests were frequently hypocritical.

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 treated it as a narrow branch of British literature.
(d) He celebrated it.

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

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

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

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

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

9. In what religious sect was Edward Taylor active?
(a) Calvinist.
(b) Shouting Methodist.
(c) Baptist.
(d) Unitarian.

10. What idea of Emerson's influenced Richardson's biography?
(a) That some men's lives define the extremes of human experience.
(b) That the lives of great mean can tell us about all men.
(c) That men are best described by the women in their lives.
(d) That men can only be known through their historical context.

11. How does Richardson characterize the year 1834 in Emerson's life?
(a) The year of trials.
(b) The year of wonders.
(c) The turning point.
(d) The year of transition.

12. How was Emerson's 1837 speech at Harvard on the American Scholar received?
(a) With celebration.
(b) With relief.
(c) With gifts.
(d) With hostility.

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

14. What was Emerson reading of Bronson Alcott's, after settling down with Lidian?
(a) Views of childhood.
(b) Poetry.
(c) Philosophy.
(d) Theories of education.

15. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's reaction to Ellen's death?
(a) He says that he realized that he had not really been in love.
(b) He says that he never got over it.
(c) He says that it gave him absolute faith in the beneficence of the creator.
(d) He says that it made him start a life-long search for religious meaning.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Richardson characterize the beginning of Emerson's relation with Margaret Fuller?

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

3. What was Emerson like as a student?

4. Why was Emerson's meeting with Carlyle a "white day in his years"?

5. What topic did Emerson lecture on after returning home from Europe?

(see the answer keys)

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