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. Who wrote "Once More to the Lake"?

2. Who wrote "Once a Tramp, Always..."?

3. What is unusual about the essay "Once a Tramp, Always...?"

4. How does Lu Hsun's work create trouble for him?

5. When was Walter Benjamin Born?

Short Essay Questions

1. What level of literary output did G. K. Chesterton achieve in his lifetime?

2. What subject dominated the writings of George Orwell? Name three specific things George Orwell wrote about.

3. Under what circumstances are Lu Hsun's "This Tool is Life" and "Death" written? What are the subjects of these essays?

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

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

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

7. What is Jose Luis Borges' perspective on his own increasing blindness, as revealed in his essay "Blindness?"

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

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

10. How did Virginia Woolf's personal background impact her work?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Journeying is the topic of Henry David Thoreau's "Walking" and William Hazlitt's "On Going a Journey."

A) What is the nature of the "journey" each man takes? Is the journey physical, spiritual, philosophical?

B) How might each man's journey be applied to larger life issues?

Essay Topic 2

"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?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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