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. Who does Emerson say the youth speaks forcefully to?

2. What does Emerson say a man should learn to detect and watch?

3. How does Emerson say he wants his life to be?

4. What does Emerson say a man speaking his opinions would do to other men?

5. What does Emerson say is the lesson great works of art teach us?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Emerson mean in paragraph 17 when he says, "An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man."?

2. In paragraph 38, Emerson explains the relationship between education and self-reliance. Describe this relationship.

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

4. Explain which characteristics Emerson says, in paragraph 11, that a person must be equipped with in order to withstand the consequences of nonconformity.

5. 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?

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

7. In paragraph 27, Emerson claims that "Nature suffers nothing to remain in her kingdoms which cannot help itself." State briefly whether you agree or disagree and support your point with a couple of examples.

8. In paragraph 11, Emerson explains what consequences one faces within society for nonconformity. What are they?

9. Explain Emerson's comparison of the white man to the New Zealander.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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."

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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