The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Louis Menand
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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 1854 __________ published a two-book set entitled Types of Mankind asserting the supremacy of the white race.

2. Henry James Sr. rebelled against his father and took up religion in the form of ___________.

3. Which person was not a member of the 'Septum'?

4. The Civil War saw the end of the __________ industry in New England.

5. After the murder of ________ Emerson's distrust of the South grew as did his affiliation with the abolitionists.

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did many of the Civil War soldiers felt their friends and family were dying during the war?

2. How was is said that Swedenborn created his religion, later becoming a religious leader?

3. How did Dr. Samuel Cartwright help to integrate polygenism in the South?

4. Why did Agassiz's second wife, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, open up a school in their home?

5. What did the Civil War allow Congress to create as it became more active than any other time in history?

6. Why did Marsh dislike the idea of liberal individualism when it was created by Locke?

7. Why did Charles Pierce decide he wanted to found the Metaphysical Club in 1872?

8. What were the two events in Henry Sr.'s life which seem to have changed him and his actions?

9. Why did many people fear the idea of mathematical laws, such as the Law of Errors?

10. What did James think about the relationship between science and society?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

To a certain extent, many of the families of the thinkers had certain advantages over other families in the area.

Part 1: Do you think it's fair for some families to have advantages in relation to education? Why or why not?

Part 2: If the educational playing field could be completely level, do you think there could be great thinkers? Why or why not?

Part 3: Why do you think so many of the thinkers in this story had the success they did?

Essay Topic 2

Education is a strong character in this manuscript as well, helping to bring together the members of the Metaphysical Club.

Part 1: Why do you think education was so important to society during those times?

Part 2: Do you think education is more or less important today? Why?

Part 3: Why do you think so many great thinkers ended up at Harvard?

Essay Topic 3

In some cases of these great thinkers of the book, the relationship between the father and son influenced the discoveries and the ideas.

Part 1: Why do you think the father figure has so much influence over the son?

Part 2: Why do you think these great thinkers were at odds with their fathers in many cases?

Part 3: What might have happened had the fathers and sons gotten along better? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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