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 say about the occurrence of virtues?

2. Who wrote the verses that Emerson mentions at the beginning of the first paragraph?

3. What does Emerson say he can anticipate if he knows your sect?

4. How does Emerson say a man can recognize what he is capable of?

5. According to Emerson, what are heroes attended by?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Emerson say about property?

2. 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."?

3. Explain the opening quote to Emerson's essay, "Ne te quaesiveris extra" and why he uses it.

4. Near the end of paragraph 19, Emerson says, "As great a stake depends on your private act to-day, as followed their public and renowned steps." What does he mean by this quote?

5. What does Emerson mean when he states in paragraph 15: "No man can violate his nature. All the sallies of his will are rounded in by the law of his being."?

6. Emerson makes an important point about who or what one will see along the way "in the hour of vision" in paragraph 25. What does he say?

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

8. Why does Emerson say in paragraph 26 that the world hates the fact that the soul becomes?

9. What does Emerson say man no longer dares to do at the beginning of paragraph 23?

10. In paragraph 21, Emerson begins an explanation of the "reason of self-trust." Explain very briefly the question he is asking and the answer he finds.

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

Explain your view of the role of education in fostering such values as self-reliance. In what ways does formal education have an effect on self-reliance? In what ways does self-reliance have to be fostered outside of formal education?

Essay Topic 3

In paragraph 25, Emerson writes: "When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; ... the way ... shall be wholly strange and new." Explain what Emerson means by this and use this idea to describe what Emerson believes a life of self-reliance is like.

(see the answer keys)

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