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. How does Emerson say he wants his life to be?

2. 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"?

3. What is an institution the lengthened shadow of?

4. Which effort does Emerson insist we obey?

5. What does Emerson say members are required to surrender in his comparison to joint-stock companies?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Near the end of paragraph 19, Emerson says, "As great a stake depends on your private act to-day, as followed their public and renowned steps." What does he mean by this quote?

4. In paragraph 10, Emerson gives a long account of exactly why he objects to conformity. His objection relates to personal "force" and the perception of character. Can you explain this objection?

5. What do you know about Ralph Waldo Emerson?

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

7. Why do you think Emerson claims, in talking about some verses he had read, that "The sentiment they instill is of more value than any thought they may contain."?

8. 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.

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

10. What does Emerson say about strength in numbers?

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 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?

Essay Topic 3

What does Emerson think of professional setbacks? Describe his point of view and state whether you think this point of view is practicable in real life. Defend your opinion.

(see the answer keys)

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