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. About how many essay collections and books did G. K. Chesterton write in his lifetime?

2. What might best describe the attitude of the author in "Such, Such Were the Joys..."?

3. When was Walter Benjamin Born?

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

5. Who wrote "This Tool Is Life?"

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What are the particulars of Ivan Turgenev's "The Execution of Tropmann"?

6. What is the subject of Junichiro Tanizaki's "In Praise of Shadows?" What hope does Tanizaki express at the end of the essay?

7. M.F.K. Fisher is known for writing primarily about what subject? Beyond this subject, what biographical details has she confronted in her writing?

8. What is Junichiro Tanizaki's contribution to world literature? How has Tanizaki's writing style been characterized?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Montaigne provides a number of views and personal opinions in the essays selected for the book.

A) What is Montaigne's view of human nature in general? Cite quotations from "Of Books" to support your assertion.

B) What is Montaigne's view of education? Cite quotations from "Of Books" and "On Some Verses of Virgil" to support your assertion.

C) What is Montaigne's view of abnormality, according to "Of a Monstrous Child"?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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