The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement Test | Final 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. In Chapter 9, what do both sides of Erica's family expect of her after the Academy?

2. What does Brooks call the new stage of life?

3. Why is Erica not let into New Hope at the beginning of Chapter 7?

4. Why is Harold's advice to Erica initially unhelpful in Chapter 15?

5. What characterizes more affluent children's play time, as described by Brooks in Chapter 7?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Erica nearly not go to the University of Denver in Chapter 9?

2. How does Erica get into the Academy in Chapter 7?

3. Describe the ideology of Rationalism.

4. How is the Academy schedule different from public school?

5. How does Brooks explain the difference between wealthy and poor children's play time in Chapter 7?

6. Describe Erica's experience at the consulting firm.

7. How does Erica almost get arrested in Chapter 7?

8. How does Harold battle overweening passion in Chapter 13?

9. How does the success of Erica's business affect her marriage?

10. What traumatic event occurs to Erica during a tennis match in Chapter 8?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Harold's professional life takes an interestingly circuitous trajectory as he searches for spiritual fulfillment. Write an essay about the different stages of Harold's professional development:

Part 1) What about Erica's offer inspires Harold to end his odyssey period after college? Discuss the nature of Harold's work with the fledgling consulting firm? What skills does he develop? How does this occupation draw to a close?

Part 2) Discuss the impact working with the Historical Society has on Harold. What parts of his life does he leave behind in the process? What does he find especially fulfilling about this work?

Part 3) What ideas about politics does Harold bring to his think tank job? Discuss how Harold's previous life experience informs the policy papers he writes? What policy proposals does he produce at this think tank? How are they the culmination of his professional life?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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