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 rule of wisdom does Emerson seem to find in his discussion of society's views of past acts?
(a) Never rely on your memory alone.
(b) Always rely on the memory of others.
(c) Never rely on the memories of others.
(d) Always rely on your memory alone.

2. "The voyage of the best ship is..."
(a) A journey to a faraway land.
(b) A zigzag line.
(c) A steady flowing path.
(d) A course of a hundred decisions.

3. What does Emerson claim men believe about how they communicate their character?
(a) They believe their virtue and vice emit a breath every moment.
(b) They believe they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions.
(c) They believe that communicating virtuous actions makes up for their vice.
(d) They believe they can communicate their virtue without their vice.

4. What does Emerson say Joseph does with his coat?
(a) Leaves it behind "like an empty husk."
(b) Leaves it "in the hand of the harlot."
(c) Leaves it "under the cloak of night."
(d) Leaves it "among the darkest enemy."

5. What does Emerson say he does not need in talking about virtuous action?
(a) Courage and charity.
(b) Consent to do good.
(c) The assurance of his fellows.
(d) The assurance of philanthropists.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Emerson say tendency does to variety of actions?

2. What is "Himmaleh"?

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

4. How does Emerson say a man feels when he has done his best?

5. Who does Emerson say babies conform to?

Short Essay Questions

1. At the beginning of paragraph 9, Emerson states: "What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule ... may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness." What does he mean by that?

2. In paragraph 7, Emerson writes: "If I am the Devil's child, I will live then from the Devil." What point is he trying to make with this provocative claim?

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. Emerson describes insightfully in paragraph 9 when it is easy to live according to his philosophy and when it is difficult. Explain this insight.

5. Aside from the consequences faced within society, Emerson mentions in paragraph 12 one other factor that causes consistency. What is it?

6. In paragraph 24, Emerson compares us to children. Explain this comparison.

7. In paragraph 4, Emerson claims that nature has given us something specific to remind us of nonconformity. What is it? Explain.

8. 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.

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

10. In paragraph 22, Emerson explains God's way of communicating. Give a brief explanation of his theory.

(see the answer keys)

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