The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

David H. M. Brooks
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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 unnerving assignment does Ms. Taylor give Harold in Chapter 6?

2. By the end of Chapter 6, Ms. Taylor has taught Harold to do what?

3. Which Greek figure does Harold compare himself to in his journal when discussing anger?

4. What superlative does Brooks use to describe his story in the introduction?

5. According to Brooks at the beginning of Chapter 1, what large accessory do his social ascendants always have?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Brooks, what separates us from other animals?

2. How did Julia and Rob find marriage in the early years?

3. What did John Bowlby's research reveal about childhood?

4. Describe young Harold's relationship with falling things.

5. What are mirror neurons?

6. Describe Ms. Taylor.

7. What is Harold's goal from conception on?

8. How does Ms. Taylor permanently affect Harold's life?

9. How does Brooks describe the day-to-day life of the Composure Class?

10. Who is Elliot, and how did he become involved with Antonio Damasio?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Seemingly in the name of evenhandedness, David Brooks presents two protagonists with disparate backgrounds. Write a three-part essay comparing and contrasting the early lives of Harold and Erica. How are their lives different? What effect does this background have on the worldview of each? Do you think this is a realist portrayal of this life experience?

Part 1) Racial background.

Part 2) Hometown and neighborhood.

Part 3) Education.

Essay Topic 2

In "The Social Animal", David Brooks makes definite policy arguments, informed by the circumstances of Harold and Erica's lives. Write a two-part essay about these policy proposals and their connection to the narrative:

Part 1) Discuss Erica's experience at Intercom. What issues do Erica and Raymond discover while they work there? What policy proposals do they make to the investors? How does this narrative indicate policy proposals Brooks would make regarding private industry?

Part 2) What conclusions does Harold come to while working at a Washington think tank? How do these proposals reflect his personal experience? What do these proposals seem to bear in mind about human nature that current public policy does not?

Essay Topic 3

In "The Social Animal", the candidate Richard Grace is clearly modeled on Barack Obama. In an essay, compare the two men's biographies. How are their paths to the presidency similar? What does each man instinctively understand about society? What draws people to this understanding of the world? Discuss whether you think this is a positive or negative portrayal of the Obama movement in 2008.

(see the answer keys)

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