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. How did Emerson describe his experience of Ellen's death?

2. In what way did Emerson share a faith with Mary Rotch and the Quakers?

3. What view was reaffirmed, for Emerson, in reading Jakob Boehme's "Aurora?"

4. When did Emerson meet Lydia Jackson?

5. What limitation does Emerson describe in Christianity in his Divinity School Address?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Emerson support himself after Harvard?

2. How was the period surrounding Emerson's marriage a time of mixed blessings?

3. Describe Emerson's relationship with Thoreau.

4. What was Emerson's relationship with Carlyle?

5. Why did Emerson break with the church?

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

7. What was Emerson's relationship with the Abolition movement?

8. What Quaker belief of Mary Rotch's did Emerson find compelling?

9. How was Emerson's "American Scholar" talk received?

10. How close was the Emerson family after Emerson's return from Europe?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What do you think is Emerson's legacy, and who do you think embodies his ideas or messages today? Was his most important legacy his writing or his lectures, his life, or the legend of his personality? What lines have come from him, and who carries those lines now?

Essay Topic 2

Emerson's descendants are reputed to have moved away from New England, and to have taken up Catholicism. How do you think Emerson would have responded to this? How does his philosophy, how does his writing represent the continuity of culture from one generation to the next?

Essay Topic 3

In what way or to what extent is Emerson a Northern or New England writer or intellectual? How much does his region affect his legacy? Are there aspects of America he was not representing?

(see the answer keys)

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