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. Who does Erica confide in regarding her tantrum in Chapter 8?

2. According to Brooks in Chapter 9, a disproportionate number of ambitious people live with what?

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

4. What personal problem does Harold begin having after he becomes romantically involved with Erica?

5. What does Erica feel about the new workers she hires in Chapter 14?

Short Essay Questions

1. What different trajectories do Harold and Erica's lives take in Chapter 15?

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

3. What is limerence?

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

5. How does the business collapse in Chapter 14?

6. In Chapter 9, what does Brooks say is often true ambitious individuals?

7. How is the mind inefficient, according to David Brooks?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout "The Social Animal", David Brooks explains the unconscious processes that are involved in the choice of a sexual mate. Write a three-part essay about these processes:

Part 1) What processes do both Rob and Julia go through when they first meet each other? Why are they attracted to one another? Discuss how the two make unconscious choices as they have dinner together for the first time.

Part 2) Discuss the meeting and initial relationship between Harold and Erica. What is the nature of this relationship, and how does Erica work to maintain this stasis? What changes occur that allow it to develop romantically?

Part 3) Discuss the subconscious processes that lead Erica to sleep with Mr. Make-Believe. What does she feel about this tryst as it occurs, and how does her subconscious mind react to it after the fact?

Essay Topic 2

David Brooks intends "The Social Animal" to be a policy treatise of sorts. Part of this treatise is a promotion of charter schools. Write an essay about Erica's childhood education experience. How is she failed by the public school system? What skills does she learn at the Academy? What can it offer her that a public school cannot? What does Brooks promote as important components in a child's education?

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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