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When Ralph Waldo Emerson pronounced America’s declaration of

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When Ralph Waldo Emerson pronounced America’s declaration of [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2020, 07:24
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When Ralph Waldo Emerson pronounced America’s declaration of cultural independence from Europe in his “American Scholar” address, he was actually articulating the transcendental assumptions of Jefferson’s political independence. In the ideal new world envisioned by Emerson, America’s becoming a perfect democracy of free and self-reliant individuals was within reach. Bringing Emerson’s metaphysics down to earth, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854) asserted that one can live without encumbrances. Emerson wanted to visualize Thoreau as the ideal scholar in action that he had called for in the “American Scholar.” In the end, however, Emerson regretted Thoreau’s too-private individualism, which failed to signal the vibrant revolution in national consciousness that Emerson had prophesied. For Emerson, what Thoreau lacked, Walt Whitman embodied in full. On reading Leaves of Grass (1855), Emerson saw in Whitman the “prophet of democracy” whom he had sought. Other American Renaissance writers were less optimistic than Emerson and Whitman about the fulfillment of the democratic ideal. In The Scarlet Letter (1850), Nathaniel Hawthorne concluded that antinomianism such as the “heroics” displayed by Hester Prynne leads to moral anarchy; and Herman Melville, who saw in his story of Pierre (1852) a metaphor for the misguided assumptions of democratic idealism, declared the transcendentalist dream unrealizable. Ironically, the literary vigor with which both Hawthorne and Melville explored the ideal showed their deep sympathy with it even as they dramatized its delusions.

1. The author of the passage seeks primarily to

(A) explore the impact of the American Renaissance writers on the literature of the late 18th Century.
(B) illustrate how American literature of the mid-18th century differed in form from European literature of the same time period.
(C) identify two schools of thought among American Renaissance writers regarding the democratic ideal.
(D) point out how Emerson’s democratic idealism was mirrored by the works of the American Renaissance writers.
(E) explain why the writers of the American Renaissance believed that an ideal world was forming in America.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
C


2. Based on the passage’s information, it can be inferred that Emerson might be characterized as any of the following EXCEPT

(A) a transcendentalist.
(B) an American Renaissance writer.
(C) a public speaker.
(D) a would-be prophet.
(E) a political pragmatist.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
E


3. With which of the following statements about Melville and Hawthorne would the author most likely agree?

(A) Both men were disillusioned transcendentalists.
(B) Hawthorne sympathized with the transcendental dream more so than Melville.
(C) They agreed as to what the transcendentalist dream would ultimately lead to.
(D) Both men believed the idealists to be misguided.
(E) Hawthorne politicized the transcendental ideal, whereas Melville personalized it.

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
D

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Re: When Ralph Waldo Emerson pronounced America’s declaration of [#permalink] New post 03 May 2020, 06:42
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1. The author of the passage seeks primarily to

The author has discussed two different accounts of two groups. One is idealist group, and the other is more practical. The only option that could match with this point is C.



2. Based on the passage’s information, it can be inferred that Emerson might be characterized as any of the following EXCEPT

(A) a transcendentalist. From the line: "articulating the transcendental assumptions of Jefferson’s political independence."
(B) an American Renaissance writer. This is definitely true. From: "Other American Renaissance writers were less optimistic than Emerson.."
(C) a public speaker. Emerson addressed the nation based on the first line of the passage.
(D) a would-be prophet.Emerson had predicted the nature of freedom America would have in the passage.
(E) a political pragmatist. Neither mentioned nor implied in the passage.


3. With which of the following statements about Melville and Hawthorne would the author most likely agree?

(A) Both men were disillusioned transcendentalists. Both these men were non-transcendentalists.
(B) Hawthorne sympathized with the transcendental dream more so than Melville. There was no distinction mentioned between the two.
(C) They agreed as to what the transcendentalist dream would ultimately lead to. Hawthorne said freedom could lead to anarchy, but Melville didn't say this.
(D) Both men believed the idealists to be misguided. They deemed idealists as deluded. This must be the answer.
(E) Hawthorne politicized the transcendental ideal, whereas Melville personalized it. There was no distinction mentioned between the two.
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theBrahmaTiger

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Re: When Ralph Waldo Emerson pronounced America’s declaration of   [#permalink] 03 May 2020, 06:42
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