Emerson: The Mind on Fire: A Biography Test | Final Test - Medium

Robert D. Richardson
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What was Emerson's hobby?
(a) Farming.
(b) Building furniture.
(c) Beekeeping.
(d) Orchard keeping.

2. What idea of the author's does Richardson say Emerson followed "surprisingly far?"
(a) Faith in evolutionary processes.
(b) Respect for historical determinism.
(c) Doubt about the possibility of transcendent experience.
(d) Disregard for individuality.

3. What event threw Emerson into despair in 1840?
(a) The death of his brother Charles.
(b) The death of Mary Moody Emerson.
(c) The death of his son Waldo.
(d) Lidian's illness.

4. In what way did Emerson try to form a commune?
(a) He tried to get friends to move to his neighborhood.
(b) He tried to interest others in buying shares in land to farm communally.
(c) He helped utopianists make their plans for communes in New York.
(d) He moved to Brook Farm part-time.

5. Whose coffin did Emerson open toward the end of his life?
(a) Ellen's.
(b) Mary Moody Emerson's.
(c) Waldo's.
(d) His mother's.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Emerson take over editorship of "The Dial?"

2. What did Emerson call his house after he changed how it was used?

3. What was Emerson's response to the publicity that arose from Andrews Norton's article?

4. What does Richardson say was the most important thing in Emerson's life?

5. With whom did Emerson take walks after returning from Europe?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Emerson's relationship with Whitman.

2. In what ways did Emerson differ from his friends' opinions?

3. What was the significance of Emerson's first daughter's name?

4. How was Emerson's work changing as he reached his fortieth birthday, in Richardson's account?

5. How did Emerson balance writing and editing?

6. What was Fourier's influence on Emerson's thinking?

7. What was Emerson's relationship with "The Dial?"

8. How does Richardson characterize Emerson's fame?

9. Describe Emerson's son's death and its effect on him.

10. How does Richardson characterize the change that took place in Emerson after Waldo's death?

(see the answer keys)

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