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

2. What does Emerson say a great soul may as well concern himself with as with consistency?

3. What is Emerson referring to when he states: "It will be found symmetrical" in talking about consistency vs. contradiction?

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

5. What does Emerson claim is the only thing that is sacred?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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."

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

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

5. 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"?

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. Emerson explains in paragraph 8 why he believes men "do what is called a good action." Describe his opinion on this subject.

8. What does Emerson say man no longer dares to do at the beginning of paragraph 23?

9. What does Emerson say about property?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Explain your view of the role of education in fostering such values as self-reliance. In what ways does formal education have an effect on self-reliance? In what ways does self-reliance have to be fostered outside of formal education?

Essay Topic 3

Explain Emerson's comparison of society to a joint-stock company by explaining what a joint-stock company is and how it works, as well as Emerson's ideas about society's investments and duties and what society receives for it's role in "the company."

(see the answer keys)

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