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. Which words does Emerson want to have "gazetted and ridiculous henceforward"?

2. What does Emerson suggest is required to withstand the "rage of the cultivated classes" and the "indignation of the people"?

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"?

4. What does Emerson say will happen if one does not put his heart into his work?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What do you know about Ralph Waldo Emerson?

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

3. What does Emerson say about sympathy in paragraph 37?

4. 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.

5. 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?

6. What does Emerson say about property?

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

8. Briefly explain Emerson's view on how we should handle our relationships with our families.

9. 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?

10. Explain the quote "Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events" from paragraph 3.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the relationship between art, literature and philosophy described by Emerson in "Self-Reliance"? Explain what Emerson says about the effects art and literature have on the way people form their own opinions and his opinion on the subject.

Essay Topic 2

What is Emerson's view of children and youth? Compare this with his view on adults within society.

Essay Topic 3

What was the Transcendentalist movement? How does the essay "Self-Reliance" relate to the movement?

(see the answer keys)

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