Abe Lincoln in Illinois Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. Why does Lincoln return to New Salem in Act 1, Scene 3?

2. What is the subject of the speech Lincoln is studying in the first scene?

3. What does Mary Todd's sister predict if she marries Lincoln?

4. Where is Abe Lincoln staying while in New Salem in Act 1, Scene 3?

5. What advice does Josh Speed give Lincoln regarding his mental health?

Short Essay Questions

1. At the end of Act 2, Scene 4, Lincoln is about to attend an event that will change his life. Where is he going and what is going to happen there?

2. In Act 2, Scene 8, Lincoln apologizes for being a coward. He says he shrank from the marriage because he didn't want or believe in the destiny Mary envisions for him. Now, though, he says he wants to "strive to deserve" her faith. Does the way that Lincoln again asks her to marry him indicate that he loves her or has some other reason for marrying her?

3. As he waits for the election results, Lincoln calls the evening a "death watch." What are Lincoln's feelings about winning the election?

4. What is Webster reacting or responding to in the speech Lincoln reads in Act 1, Scene 1?

5. The cheering crowd chants for Lincoln to make a speech from the back of the railroad car. He begins by naming the problems facing the nation. But he finishes on a note of hope. What outcome is Lincoln hoping to achieve?

6. As he is leaving Springfield, what is Lincoln's hope regarding his future?

7. The informal committee that came to recruit Lincoln to run for State Assembly in Act 1, Scene 2 has a larger political purpose in mind. What is it?

8. William Herndon reacts vehemently to Lincoln's denunciation of Mary Todd's ambitions for Lincoln. What does Herndon, who is somewhat drunk, tell Lincoln?

9. How does Nancy Green describe Lincoln's fear of falling in love in Act 1, Scene 3?

10. Stephen Douglas takes the position that "each state should mind its own business," says Lincoln in the debate. It might seem like the safer course, he argues, but there is a danger to following that advice. What is the danger that Lincoln foresees?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Springfield, Lincoln has a law practice and a reputation as a powerful speaker. He has been invited to address the Elijah P. Lovejoy League of Freeman on the subject of abolition. Lincoln has been shocked by the sight of chained slaves being taken to market, but he refuses to give a speech to the League. Using examples from the play, explain this apparent contradiction.

Essay Topic 2

How does the John Keats poem, "On Death," which Lincoln reads at the end of Scene 1, reflect his personality or philosophy? What does the poem say about life and why does Lincoln seem to agree with it? Does his reaction to Ann Rutledge--later, when she says she can envision falling in love with him--signal a change in his outlook from his initial reaction to the poem?

Essay Topic 3

While discussing his political philosophy with those who want him to run for office, Lincoln tells them he is "conservative, all right. If I got into the legislature, you'd never catch me starting any movements for reform or progress." Is the playwright making an ironic observation by giving Lincoln that line? Explain your thinking, yes or no, using examples from the play.

(see the answer keys)

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