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 is the only thing that is sacred?

2. What are boys sure of in Emerson's example of how boys speak their mind?

3. What does Emerson say he has difficulty detecting when people "maintain a dead church"?

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

5. What does Emerson suggest is required to withstand the "rage of the cultivated classes" and the "indignation of the people"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In paragraph 33, Emerson says, "We are become timorous, desponding whimperers." Explain what he means by this.

3. 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.

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

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

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

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

9. Explain what Emerson is referring to in saying, in paragraph 13, "Leave your theory, as Joseph his coat in the hand of the harlot, and flee."

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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