Mid-Book Test - Hard
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This quiz 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. One of Lincoln's clients can't pay her bill; why does Lincoln think she is right not to pay?
3. What is Lincoln studying in the opening scene?
4. What happens at the end of Act 2, Scene 4 that proves Lincoln's claim that he is a social success?
5. What is Lincoln's response to a poem he reads regarding life and death?
Short Essay Questions
1. In Act 2, Scene 7, it has been two years since Lincoln broke off his engagement. He has been drifting since then, but has returned to New Salem in time to meet his old friend, Seth Gale. The Gale family is heading west, to Oregon. Gale has had a hard journey and now his young son is suffering from swamp fever. What does he want from Lincoln at this time?
2. A few days after meeting Seth Gale, Abe Lincoln arrives at the home of Mary Todd. She is still single and Abe plans to ask her, again, to marry him. Does the fact that Mary is still single, two years after the broken engagement to Lincoln, indicate anything about her character? Support your answer with your interpretation of the text, both from Act 2, Scene 8 and from earlier episodes in the play.
3. In Act 2, Scene 5, Elizabeth Edwards and her sister, Mary Todd, have a spirited discussion about Abraham Lincoln and whether he would be a good match for Mary Todd. What does their argument tell the audience about the sisters' personalities?
4. Josh Speed arrives to visit with Abe at the Greens' house. When Lincoln isn't there, Speed fills them in on Lincoln's activities in the State Assembly. What has Lincoln accomplished in the year since he's been elected?
5. In Act 2, Scene 4, Lincoln has a law clerk who is something of a firebrand--he believes deeply in abolition and tries to get Lincoln involved in the public debate. What is Lincoln's response?
6. How does Mary Todd characterize the man her sister married and the life they have together? And what is wrong with that life, according to Mary Todd?
7. What sentiment does Daniel Webster express in the speech that Lincoln reads in Act 1, Scene 1?
8. 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?
9. What does Lincoln tell his friends in Act 2, Scene 4, in the discussion about his lack of political ambition and his unwillingness to speak publicly against slavery?
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?
Before the scene in which Lincoln debates Stephen Douglas, there has been talk about Lincoln's duty to the nation. But most descriptions of that perceived duty came from other characters, not Lincoln. Yet, in the debate with Douglas, Lincoln is very specific about not only his duty, but the duty of all citizens to do what's right for the country. At what point in the play does the audience sense that Lincoln has begun to see the exact shape of his duty? How does he come to define his responsibility? Does the audience (or reader) see his thinking evolve?
Based on the scene in the tavern with Ann Rutledge and later scenes with Mary Todd Lincoln, compare and contrast the personalities of the two women. In your opinion, which woman would have been the best wife for Lincoln? Base your reasons on aspects of their personalities as described in the play. Would Lincoln have become President if he had been married to Ann Rutledge rather than Mary Todd?
Based on his self-descriptions in the scene set in Springfield with Josh Speed and Bowling Green--"I'm no fighting man," he says--is Lincoln a coward who won't fight for what he believes? How does Lincoln explain his own "cowardice?"
This section contains 1,446 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)