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 claim men believe about how they communicate their character?

2. What does Emerson claim will happen when you do your work?

3. What does Emerson insist a man must be in order to really be a man?

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. What does Emerson wish adults could return to?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Emerson mean when he states in paragraph 15: "No man can violate his nature. All the sallies of his will are rounded in by the law of his being."?

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

4. How does Emerson feel about travel? Explain why.

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

6. 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."?

7. What does Emerson say about strength in numbers?

8. 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"?

9. Explain which characteristics Emerson says, in paragraph 11, that a person must be equipped with in order to withstand the consequences of nonconformity.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What is the relationship between art, literature and philosophy described by Emerson in "Self-Reliance"? Explain what Emerson says about the effects art and literature have on the way people form their own opinions and his opinion on the subject.

Essay Topic 3

Explain the role of religion in Emerson's life. In what ways was Emerson religiously involved? What do you know about his opinions about religion? Finally, how do you think Emerson's involvement and views on religion are visible in his work?

(see the answer keys)

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