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. What is Josh Speed's request to the Greens as he departs at the end of Act 1, Scene 3?

2. What does Mary Todd tell her brother-in-law when he asks why she has chosen him as a husband?

3. In Scene 2, Act 4, Lincoln receives a letter from his old friend, Seth Gale. What is Gale worrying about?

4. Who is Billy Herndon?

5. What do Josh Speed and Bowling Green think might be the result, if slavery spreads further across the South?

Short Essay Questions

1. Does Lincoln appear to be emotionally stable just after he announces the death of Ann Rutledge?

2. Act 2, Scene 5 is fairly brief, with a heated discussion between Mary Todd and her sister and brother-in-law. While the characters talk about the possibility of Mary Todd marrying Lincoln, the proposal doesn't actually take place. What purpose does the scene serve?

3. When Josh Speed burns Lincoln's letter to Mary Todd, Lincoln tells him the real reasons he doesn't want to go through with the marriage. What are his real reasons?

4. 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?

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. In Act 2, Scene 6, Lincoln decides to jilt Mary Todd on their wedding day. He plans to inform her in a long letter--a plan to which Josh Speed objects. Why does Speed object? In his mind, what does Lincoln's plan say about Lincoln as a man?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. Describe the setting in Act 2, Scene 5 (the parlor of the Edwards' home) and explain what the setting is meant to tell the audience.

10. Why does Lincoln decide to run for office after talking to Ann, at the end of Act 1, Scene 2? Did she encourage him?

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

Seth Gale and his family are moving West, accompanied by Gobey, a free negro who works for them. What route West does Gale choose? What was happening in the nation that caused him to choose that route and to want to settle in Oregon?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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