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

Robert D. Richardson
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 114 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What trouble did the Emerson family encounter around the time of Emerson's engagement?

2. Where was Emerson going on Christmas Day, 1832?

3. In what religious sect was Edward Taylor active?

4. What idea did Emerson return to many times after giving his speech on American Scholar?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the Transcendental Club?

2. Why did Emerson travel to the South?

3. What was Emerson's relationship with Bronson Alcott?

4. Describe Emerson's relationship with Thoreau.

5. What is Emerson doing when Richardson introduces us to him?

6. What was Emerson's relationship with Margaret Fuller?

7. What was Emerson's relation with Hume?

8. What view of Jakob Boehme's did Emerson pick up?

9. What was Emerson's view of American literature?

10. What kinds of images does Richardson say dominated Emerson's thinking and writing in 1836?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Emerson wrote essays on love and spiritual laws, but never marriage. Why not, do you think?

Essay Topic 2

Are there aspects of Emerson's personality that Richardson overlooks or underplays? Make a case that Richardson has misrepresented Emerson in some way. What other Emersons do you think there might be, whose stories are still waiting to be told? Use the text for evidence, and explain your hunch.

Essay Topic 3

Richardson says that Emerson was surprised by his reaction to Lincoln. Where else did Emerson surprise himself, and what value did he attach to being surprised? Was it something he sought out, or something he protected himself against? How did he do each of these things?

(see the answer keys)

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