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 not recommend dragging about in his discussion of past acts?

2. Why does Emerson say we distrust our sentiment?

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

4. What does Emerson say will happen if one does not put his heart into his work?

5. What does Emerson say boys don't worry about?

Short Essay Questions

1. Emerson makes an important point about who or what one will see along the way "in the hour of vision" in paragraph 25. What does he say?

2. 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.

3. In paragraph 4, Emerson claims that nature has given us something specific to remind us of nonconformity. What is it? Explain.

4. 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?

5. In paragraph 14, Emerson explains the relationship between being misunderstood and greatness. Explain this relationship.

6. In paragraph 22, Emerson explains God's way of communicating. Give a brief explanation of his theory.

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

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

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

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 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 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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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