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. Besides children, who does Emerson say God has armed with "piquancy and charm"?

2. What is an institution the lengthened shadow of?

3. What does Emerson say he can anticipate if he knows your sect?

4. Who does Emerson say the youth speaks forcefully to?

5. Who does Emerson say babies conform to?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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"?

2. What does Emerson say in paragraph 29 about others having the power to annoy us?

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

4. In paragraph 24, Emerson compares us to children. Explain this comparison.

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

6. What does Emerson mean in saying, "Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned to you."?

7. What is Emerson's stance on philanthropy and charity?

8. 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.

9. 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."?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following 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

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

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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