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 do others use to "compute our orbit"?

2. Which story does Emerson tell to get his point across about self-perception?

3. How does Emerson say adults feel in looking into the faces of children?

4. What does Emerson suggest one should accept in regards to divine providence?

5. What "...may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted..."?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. Explain Emerson's example of "boys who are sure of a dinner" from paragraph 5.

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

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

5. 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"?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In paragraph 26, Emerson says, "A man or a company of men, plastic and permeable to principles ... by the law of nature must overpower and ride all cities, nations, kings, rich men, poets, who are not." Explain what Emerson means by this quote and give your own opinion on this subject, backing your opinion up with specific arguments.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

What does Emerson say about virtue as it relates to kings and nobles vs. common people? What do you think Emerson is trying to persuade people to do with his writings on this topic? Why?

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