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 tendency does to variety of actions?

2. What does conformity explain?

3. What claim does Emerson make about the force of character?

4. What is Emerson describing when he states: "In your metaphysics you have denied personality to the Deity: yet when the devout motions of the soul come ... they should clothe God with shape and color"?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In paragraph 27, Emerson claims that "Nature suffers nothing to remain in her kingdoms which cannot help itself." State briefly whether you agree or disagree and support your point with a couple of examples.

3. Aside from the consequences faced within society, Emerson mentions in paragraph 12 one other factor that causes consistency. What is it?

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

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

6. In paragraph 14, Emerson explains the relationship between being misunderstood and greatness. Explain this relationship.

7. In paragraph 33, Emerson says, "We are become timorous, desponding whimperers." Explain what he means by this.

8. At the beginning of paragraph 2, Emerson states: "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that ... no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil." Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

9. What does Emerson mean in paragraph 6 when he describes the voices we hear in solitude as "grown faint and inaudible as we enter into the world"?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Explain the importance of self-perception in becoming self-reliant. Consider Emerson's example of the "sot" who wakes up in the duke's house washed and dressed, and explain Emerson's view of how what we feel about ourselves affects our autonomy.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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

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