The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present Test | Final 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 occupation did Lu Hsun abandon to become a writer?

2. When does the execution take place in "The Execution of Tropmann?"

3. What death did M.F.K. Fisher have to endure that she writes about?

4. Who wrote "Going Out for a Walk?"

5. How did Virginia Woolf die?

Short Essay Questions

1. What two works of G. K. Chesterton are included in this volume? What are the subjects of these essays?

2. What style is James Thurber known for? What was a common theme in Thurber's writing?

3. Describe Walter Benjamin's unfortunate end. How does his essay "Unpacking My Library" relate to this tragic end?

4. What views is Henry David Thoreau well known for? How did he believe one should live one's life?

5. Describe the important events in Lu Hsun's life that impacted his personal essays.

6. What kind of literature did Virginia Woolf write? What was a common focus that united her work?

7. What is Robert Louis Stevenson best known for today?

8. What tone does Mary McCarthy use in "My Confession?" How does she approach herself as well as the subjects of her essays?

9. What is the subject of E.B. White's "Once More to the Lake"? What is the message White relays about the state of the lake?

10. How does Seymour Krim's life compare to Mary McCarthy's? How did Krim's childhood impact his writing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Essays in Idleness" by Kenko and "An Apology for Idlers" by Robert Louis Stevenson provide musings on idleness.

A) How does each author view idleness? Can idleness be valuable? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being idle?

B) Compare the forms of each essay. Kenko wrote a journal, while Stevenson is offering an "apology." How does form relate to content in each case?

Essay Topic 2

Physical conditions are the subject of Seneca's "Asthma" and Jose Luis Borge's "Blindness."

A) How does each man confront his condition? What is each man's attitude?

B) Seneca's philosophy is said to be Stoic. How does Borge's philosophy, as revealed in "Blindness," compare to the Stoic philosophy?

Essay Topic 3

Michel de Montaigne speaks about the nature of reading and writing in his essays "Of Books" and "On Some Verses of Virgil."

A) What is Montaigne's philosophy of education? What does it mean to acquire and have an education? How does level of education separate people?

B) What is Montaigne's philosophy in regards to borrowing from other sources, including classical authors. Why does he do this borrowing?

(see the answer keys)

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