For over twenty-five years, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous essay, “Self-Reliance,” was a centerpiece of the Honors American Literature course I taught. The packet contains a very brief introduction, some discussion questions, twelve essay prompts, two quizzes, a quotes test, a unit test, and suggestions regarding supplemental fiction, drama, and film.
Included in this packet are my materials for the play, Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. After teaching Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” I frequently followed up with short fiction or drama that presented themes and ethical dilemmas with connections to Emerson. Inherit the Wind was always a favorite choice – increasingly so in a modern world that has once more made the teaching of evolution a controversial subject. The Inherit the Wind materials include discussion questions for the play, three essay prompts, a quiz, and a unit test with both an objective and an essay component.