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 he does not need in talking about virtuous action?

2. Which story does Emerson tell to get his point across about self-perception?

3. What does Emerson claim is the virtue "in most request"?

4. What does Emerson say happens to the "voices which we hear in solitude" as we enter into the world?

5. "...the man in the street, finding no worth in himself..." feels poor when he looks on what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the "ONE" Emerson is referring to when he writes: "The resolution of all into the ever-blessed ONE" at the beginning of paragraph 27?

2. At the beginning of paragraph 9, Emerson states: "What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule ... may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness." What does he mean by that?

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

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

5. Why do other members of society "need" us to be consistent according to Emerson in paragraph 12?

6. Why does Emerson say in paragraph 26 that the world hates the fact that the soul becomes?

7. What does Emerson say about technological advancement?

8. 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?

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

10. 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"?

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

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 3

Explain Emerson's stance on the significance of our past acts, both for ourselves and for society. In what way does Emerson say our past acts are important for society? What does he think about this importance? What does he say about how we should feel about our own past?

(see the answer keys)

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