Multiple Choice – Part I



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Transcendentalism and New American Poetry Exam

Multiple Choice – Part I





1. What is the philosophy of transcendentalism?

a. in order to become closer to nature and to God, one must find the god within himself

b. to discover the “truth,” one must use his or her intuition to transcend beyond the physical realm

c. simply living on earth is not enough; we must make the best of our lives while here

d. the only way to create peace and harmony in mankind is to spend more time among nature
2. Who was the father of transcendentalism?

a. Whitman

b. Dickinson

c. Emerson

d. Thoreau
3. According to the transcendentalists, everything in the world was a reflection of

a. Intuition

b. Jesus

c. the Divine Soul

d. each other
4. The transcendentalists would say that the physical facts of the natural world are

a. are a doorway to the spiritual or ideal world

b. not the most important things in life

c. are a hindrance to recognizing God

d. privileges that we can easily live without
5. Transcendentalists said that people should use what two human abilities to find God’s spirit?

a. insight and gut feelings

b. emotion and gut feelings

c. insight and emotion

d. intuition and emotion
6. Where could one find God’s spirit according to transcendentalists?

a. in nature

b. in one’s own soul

c. both choices “a” and “b”

d. none of the above

7. What two qualities did transcendentalists say must outweigh external authority and blind conformity?

a. friendliness and Godliness

b. self reliance and individualism

c. government and the law

d. faith in one’s self and in the government
8. If humans truly engaged their intuition, they could achieve an apotheosis or ____________?

a. a better sense of nature

b. become god

c. learn to understand one another

d. realize that we are actually all the same
9. In Emerson’s “Nature,” what is he saying about nature in general when he says, “If the stars would appear one night in a thousand years, how men believe and adore…”?

a. people would actually learn to appreciate nature

b. everyone would learn all their constellations

c. people would be so shocked that they would never appreciate nature again

d. none of the above
10. True or False: According to Emerson, few children actually possess the ability to “see” nature.

a. True

b. False

c. I don’t know

d. I want to fail this test
11. True or False: According to Emerson, it is necessary to use nature with great temperance; otherwise, you won’t get everything out of the experience that you could have.

a. True

b. False

c. I still don’t know

d. I really want to fail this test
12. In Emerson’s “Self Reliance,” he says that none but oneself knows that which he can do, nor…

a. can he do it if he follows in other people footsteps

b. does he realize that until later in life

c. will he know until he connects with nature

d. does he know until he has tried
13. In “Self Reliance,” when does Emerson say that man is happiest?

a. when he has gained a valuable connection with nature

b. when transcendentalism is his philosophy

c. when he has put his heart into his work and done his best

d. when he is working toward accomplishing something charitable
14. Emerson’s main point in “Self Reliance” is that we should each…?

a. trust ourselves

b. begin to work toward perfection through 13 virtues

c. work together to get back to nature

d. work together to reach god
15. What point is Emerson trying to make when he states that “to be great is to be misunderstood”?

a. the greatest thinkers are not always right

b. society always sees the greatest thinkers first, even before that person realizes he or she will be great

c. often when someone is striving to be great, he or she is considered an outcast

d. even when society is not on your side, you should continue to work to be misunderstood

16. In Thoreau’s “Resistance to Civil Government,” why does he not pay his poll tax?

a. he feels that there should be no taxation without representation

b. he does not agree with the government’s wishes to start a war with Mexico

c. he did not earn enough money in order to pay them

d. he doesn’t think the government should have his money because they’re not a democracy
17. Why does Thoreau not believe he has done anything wrong by avoiding this tax?

a. he feels the government doesn’t have its peoples’ best interests in mind

b. he thinks that he’s doing the public a great service by not paying his taxes

c. he feels that the government already has enough tax money

d. he thinks the government is cheating the people
18. According to Thoreau, why does majority rule in a democracy?

a. because a majority rule and a democracy are the same thing

b. because a democracy is always right

c. because the majority says what stays and goes

d. because the majority is the strongest
19. In Thoreau’s opinion, when is the only time resisting one’s government is the right thing to do?

a. when you don’t agree with it

b. when it is hurting the ones you love

c. only when you have the best interests of the government in mind

d. only when the government is doing something morally wrong



Matching – Part I: Match the term to its appropriate definition.
a. parallel structure b. free verse c. apostrophe d. cadence e. paradox ab. cataloging
20. long lists of related things, people, or events
21. a statement that appears contradictory bur reveals a kind of truth
22. a type of personification that is a direct address to an absent or dead person or to something not present
23. the repetition of the same or similar words, phrases, clauses, or sentences
24. poetry that is written without concern for regular rhyme schemes and meter.
25. the long, easy sweep of sound that echoes the Bible and speeches of orators or preachers

Matching – Part II: Match the person to its appropriate designation.
a. Whitman b. Dickinson (Note: Some of the questions below may require you to respond with both choices!)
26. – was an observer of daily life or life situations
27. – invented and most often wrote in “free verse”
28. – used “cadence” in poetry to give it unique style
29. ­– used a series of unconventional dashes and odd punctuation to add emphasis
30. – helped serve as a model for poets of the 20th century
31. – used the poetic technique “apostrophe” in works
32. – used “parallel structure” and “cataloging” for emphasis and to help get across point
33. – was very outgoing, sociable, and a traveler
34. – was shy, secluded, a recluse, and a spinster
35. – didn’t become famous until after death, when poems were discovered in bedroom


Multiple Choice – Part II



36. What “song” does Whitman actually mean he hears when he says, “I Hear America Singing”?

a. that each Americans’ individual job/talent is unique, and that is something to be proud of

b. that we should be proud of our national anthem because it represents individuality

c. he hears America’s destiny calling

d. he thinks America’s future is bright
37. In “I Hear America Singing,” what is Whitman is saying we should celebrate?

a. our independence or freedom

b. our ability to do multiple jobs

c. a country full of people with unique talents and abilities

d. a country whose people have very good singing voices

38. In Whitman’s “Song of Myself: #33,” why does he continually restate that “he is man” and “he was there”?

a. because he actually was there at each situation that he lists

b. he feels as though we’re all connected because there is a part of each person in everyone

c. because even though he wasn’t there, he feels like he could have been

d. he is ashamed of the fact that even though we’re all connected, he wasn’t able to be there
39. What poetic device does the following line from Whitman’s poem contain?

“The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck, the/ murderous buckshot and the bullets…”



a. imagery

b. paradox

c. onomatopoeia

d. apostrophe

40. Based upon Whitman’s “Song of Myself: #52,” what does he feel that we are all Romantically a part of?

a. we are all part of a grand intuition

b. god’s master plan

c. we are all similar to one another in god’s eyes

d. nature is a part of us and part of us is in each other as well
41. What does Whitman say that we should do in order to “find” him?

a. look in nature or even within ourselves

b. travel around the world

c. read his literature



d. talk to those that once knew him
42. In Dickinson’s “Heart! We will Forget Him!” what is speaking to the heart?

a. the eyes

b. the soul

c. the mind

d. a former lover
43. Why does Dickinson say that the heart must be the first to forget?

a. because the eyes cannot easily forget a familiar face

b. because the soul attaches itself forever to a person’s true love

c. because the mind possesses a memory

d. because once the heart forgets its love for him, forgetting the rest of him will be easier
44. In Dickinson’s “Much Madness is divinest Sense,” what paradox does she use to get her point across?

a. those that are sometimes considered “mad” are often crazier than they look

b. those that are sometimes considered “mad” are often quite brilliant

c. if you are “mad” then you have to be strange

d. if you are “mad” then you must be a genius

45. What is Dickinson saying about how society views people that have new thoughts or ideas?

a. they are usually treated as if they are geniuses

b. their ideas may not be popular, but society loves new ways of thought anyway

c. most of them aren’t even acknowledged

d. they are treated as outcasts
46. In “Success is Counted Sweetest,” who does Dickinson say appreciates success the most?

a. those that continually have average success

b. those who excel at everything

c. those who never succeed

d. those that are always competing
47. What example of success vs. failure does Dickinson give us so that we can see what she means?

a. a soldier dying on the battlefield

b. a person that is lost without a map

c. a little boy losing his first baseball game

d. an old man struggling to stay alive on his deathbed
48. How does she say an opponent’s triumph sounds to us when we are the one to lose?

a. it bursts, agonizing and clear

b. it is usually blocked out and not heard because it’s so painful

c. it sings a sweet melody to our ears

d. it becomes annoying after a while
49. In “I died for Beauty – but was scarce,” Dickinson says that Beauty and Truth…

a. are two separate and incomparable things

b. are brothers; they are one and the same

c. have never been worth dying for

d. are things that each individual has to carefully consider before deciding which to support.
50. In the concluding lines of the poem, what does Dickinson say about the debate with Beauty and Truth?

a. even though they are similar, Beauty will never last as long as Truth will

b. no matter how much we argue over it, Truth will always outweigh Beauty

c. we can argue for eternity over which is greater, but the debate will long outlast mankind

d. mankind constantly debates the idea of Beauty and Truth, but only God can decide which is more valuable




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