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 a great soul may as well concern himself with as with consistency?

2. Who wrote the verses that Emerson mentions at the beginning of the first paragraph?

3. According to Emerson, what are heroes attended by?

4. What is it that we put on in company according to Emerson?

5. Which of the following movements did Emerson NOT mention in his listing of "institutions"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Explain the opening quote to Emerson's essay, "Ne te quaesiveris extra" and why he uses it.

6. 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?

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

8. What does Emerson say about sympathy in paragraph 37?

9. At the beginning of paragraph 2, Emerson states: "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that ... no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil." Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Do you think Emerson's essay is relevant to the issue of peer pressure today? Why or why not? Give some examples.

Essay Topic 2

In paragraph 3, Emerson writes: "And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny ... obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark." State and explain your opinion of this idea.

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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