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 call "...pretty oracles nature yields us..." when talking about examples of trusting oneself?

2. Which of the following movements did Emerson NOT mention in his listing of "institutions"?

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

4. What rule of wisdom does Emerson seem to find in his discussion of society's views of past acts?

5. What does Emerson claim "statesmen and philosophers and divines" adore?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In paragraph 36, Emerson talks about real and false prayer. Describe the difference.

3. In paragraph 6, Emerson compares society to a joint-stock company. Explain this comparison.

4. In paragraph 13, Emerson says it "seems to be a rule of wisdom never to rely on your memory alone ... but to bring the past for judgment into the thousand-eyed present." What does he mean by the phrase "thousand-eyed present"?

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

6. What does Emerson say about property?

7. Why does Emerson hold Moses, Plato and Milton in such high regard?

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

9. What do you know about Ralph Waldo Emerson?

10. What does Emerson mean in paragraph 17 when he says, "An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man."?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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

Essay Topic 2

What does Emerson say the world has learned from its kings? Describe Emerson's view and give your own opinion on the subject.

Essay Topic 3

Explain Emerson's stance on the significance of our past acts, both for ourselves and for society. In what way does Emerson say our past acts are important for society? What does he think about this importance? What does he say about how we should feel about our own past?

(see the answer keys)

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