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 suggest is required to withstand the "rage of the cultivated classes" and the "indignation of the people"?

2. Why does Emerson say a character is "like an acrostic"?

3. What does Emerson say he does not need in talking about virtuous action?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Emerson explains in paragraph 8 why he believes men "do what is called a good action." Describe his opinion on this subject.

2. Explain Emerson's theory on the importance of kings for the world as stated in paragraph 20.

3. What does Emerson say about involuntary perception (paragraph 21)?

4. 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.

5. What do you know about Ralph Waldo Emerson?

6. In paragraph 4, Emerson claims that nature has given us something specific to remind us of nonconformity. What is it? Explain.

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

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

9. After giving his example of "boys who are sure of a dinner" in paragraph 5, Emerson laments that adults cannot return to this neutrality. He explains what he believes would happen if we could. What does he believe would happen?

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

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

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

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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