The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present 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. In Montaigne's "On Some Verses..." essay, what opinion does he express about the sexes?

2. What is the implicit message of "An Essay on the Noble Science of Self-Justification?"

3. In "On Noise," what is necessary for a person to ignore the noise of the outside world?

4. What is Richard Steele's message in his essay "Twenty-four Hours in London"?

5. What does Montaigne admit in "Of Books?"

Short Essay Questions

1. For what style is Abraham Cowley known for?

2. What is the tone of Joseph Addison's "Nicolini and the Lions?" What details of the story account for this tone?

3. Why is Samuel Johnson famous? What kind of essays did he write?

4. What personal details are included in Seneca's "Asthma"?

5. What was Michel de Montaigne's background prior to writing?

6. What accounts for Maria Edgeworth's nontraditional views of male/female relationships? How are these views represented in "An Essay on the Noble Science of Self-Justification"?

7. Why are Richard Steele and Joseph Addison so often presented as a literary pair, as they are in this volume?

8. What does Montaigne say in "Of a Monstrous Child" about things or people humans consider "monstrous?"

9. What is the subject of "Pleasure Boat Studio?"

10. What is the subject of Abraham Cowley's "Of Greatness"? What point does Abraham Cowley make?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Robert Louis Stevenson's "On Marriage" and Maria Edgeworth's "An Essay on the Noble Science of Self-Justification" both center on the marital relationship.

A) Compare the tone employed by each writer.

B) What is each author's philosophy of marriage? Is marriage something to be celebrated, mocked, or feared?

C) How might your determination from A) help inform you as to the position each person takes on marriage? How does tone relate to content in each author's case?

Essay Topic 2

Big events are the topic of James Baldwin's "Notes on a Native Son" and Richard Rodriguez's "Late Victorians."

A) How does each man relate the big events happening around them to his own personal experience? Compare each man's approach.

B) Compare and contrast the significance, as each man sees it, of the event taking place. Why do they believe they are witnessing events that are important to document?

Essay Topic 3

Roland Barthes in "Leaving the Movie Theater" and Gayle Pemberton in "Do He Have Your Number, Mr. Jeffrey" both speak about personal experiences they have had with movies.

A) How is the movie experience different for each author? What does each author take away from their movie watching experience?

B) How might race impact the movie watching experience? Would Barthes' experience with movie watching be any different if he was confronted with actors on screen of a different race?

(see the answer keys)

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