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. What political party did Abraham Cowley support?

2. What attitude does Seneca have toward slaves in "Slaves?"

3. What art form is Seneca considered the founder of?

4. What is Montaigne's view on quoting and crediting other authors?

5. How did Montaigne's father treat Montaigne?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the biographical background necessary to understand "Consolation to His Wife" by Plutarch?

2. For what style is Abraham Cowley known for?

3. What subjects are talked about in "On Some Verses of Virgil?"

4. To what extent were Charles Lamb's personal essays influenced by his family background? Describe that family background.

5. Provide some biographical information on Plutarch? What was his contribution to world literature?

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

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

8. What is the subject of Montaigne's "Of Books?"

9. What is the subject of Richard Steele's "Twenty-four Hours in London"? What point does Steele make in the story?

10. What caused Michel de Montaigne to start writing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

E. B. White in "Once More to the Lake" and Hubert Butler in "Beside the Nore" both talk about seaside experiences.

A) What is each man's view of nature, as revealed in the essays?

B) What is particular about being close to water that resonates with each author?

C) How does a sense of nostalgia pervade and affect each piece? How does "now" differ from "then?"

Essay Topic 2

Sei Shonagon in "Hateful Things" and William Hazlitt in "On the Pleasure of Hating" both talk about the nature of hatred.

A) Is hate a healthy emotion, according to either author? Compare their views on the healthiness of hate.

B) What types of things are hated by each author? Are there more useful things than others to hate? What types of things might be too insignificant to hate?

Essay Topic 3

"Hashish in Marseilles" by Walter Benjamin and "Under the Influence" by Scott Russell Sanders both speak about substance abuse.

A) How does Benjamin's attitude about substance compare to Sanders'? How might biographical details help to inform us about the formulation of these attitudes?

B) What does each man take away from the substance abuse they have experienced? What might their message for the reader be?

(see the answer keys)

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