Self-Reliance Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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 does Emerson claim is the virtue "in most request"?

2. What does Emerson wish adults could return to?

3. What does Emerson suggest about philanthropy?

4. What word does Emerson use to describe people who live their own opinion "in the midst of the crowd"?

5. What does Emerson say members are trying to secure in his comparison to joint-stock companies?

Short Essay Questions

1. In paragraph 11, Emerson explains what consequences one faces within society for nonconformity. What are they?

2. At the beginning of paragraph 16, Emerson says that "of one will, the actions will be harmonious, however unlike they seem." Explain this quote.

3. 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?

4. What is Emerson's stance on philanthropy and charity?

5. Emerson states in paragraph 3 that "We are now men." What does he insist that we must do?

6. After giving his example of "boys who are sure of a dinner" in paragraph 5, Emerson laments that adults cannot return to this neutrality. He explains what he believes would happen if we could. What does he believe would happen?

7. Explain Emerson's comparison in paragraph 15 of a character to an acrostic.

8. What does Emerson say happens when a young man fails at his first endeavors? Describe what happens and what Emerson recommends.

9. Explain Emerson's theory on the importance of kings for the world as stated in paragraph 20.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain Emerson's view of the advancement of society and give several supporting examples.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the principles of the Age of Enlightenment that preceded Emerson's work. Explain the relationship between Emerson's philosophies and those of the Enlightenment.

Essay Topic 3

Explain the role of religion in Emerson's life. In what ways was Emerson religiously involved? What do you know about his opinions about religion? Finally, how do you think Emerson's involvement and views on religion are visible in his work?

(see the answer keys)

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