Self-Reliance Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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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 kind of expression does Emerson say that we begin to acquire with conformity?
(a) The gentlest perceptive expression.
(b) The gentlest rational expression.
(c) The gentlest weak-minded expression.
(d) The gentlest asinine expression.

2. What does Emerson say the world will do to you for nonconformity?
(a) Punish you for your folly.
(b) Whip you with its displeasure.
(c) Lash you with its criticism.
(d) Scourge you for your witlessness.

3. What does Emerson mean when he writes: "...yet when the devout motions of the soul come, yield to them heart and life, though they should clothe God with shape and color"?
(a) God will take on form even if you never believed in a deity.
(b) You will find that God has an actual form.
(c) Encourage the artists that paint the likeness of God.
(d) You should give up your life for those that give form to God.

4. Who or what does Emerson say he is living his life for?
(a) The higher good of society.
(b) Himself.
(c) Itself.
(d) God.

5. Who does Emerson say babies conform to?
(a) The world at large.
(b) Nobody.
(c) Their parents.
(d) Everybody.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Emerson mean by the word "meanness" when he writes: "This rule ... may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness"?

2. What does Emerson say a man speaking his opinions would do to other men?

3. What rule of wisdom does Emerson seem to find in his discussion of society's views of past acts?

4. Who does Emerson say the youth speaks forcefully to?

5. Which effort does Emerson insist we obey?

Short Essay Questions

1. In paragraph 14, Emerson explains the relationship between being misunderstood and greatness. Explain this relationship.

2. What does Emerson mean when he says (in paragraph 10), "Nature is not slow to equip us in the prison-uniform of the party to which we adhere. We come to wear one cut of face and figure"?

3. Why do you think Emerson claims, in talking about some verses he had read, that "The sentiment they instill is of more value than any thought they may contain."?

4. Who are Alfred, Scanderbeg and Gustavus, referred to in paragraph 19?

5. Explain Emerson's comparison of the white man to the New Zealander.

6. At the end of paragraph 36, Emerson relates the story of Caratach in Fletcher's "Bonduca," who is "admonished to inquire the mind of the god Audate." In your own words, describe Caratach's response.

7. In paragraph 10, Emerson gives a long account of exactly why he objects to conformity. His objection relates to personal "force" and the perception of character. Can you explain this objection?

8. Explain Emerson's problem with "the phraseology of some old mouldered nation in another country" as detailed in paragraph 22.

9. In paragraph 38, Emerson explains the relationship between education and self-reliance. Describe this relationship.

10. Emerson explains in paragraph 8 why he believes men "do what is called a good action." Describe his opinion on this subject.

(see the answer keys)

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