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. According to Josh, how is Lincoln doing in the State Assembly?

2. One of Lincoln's clients can't pay her bill; why does Lincoln think she is right not to pay?

3. How does Lincoln feel after Ann's death?

4. What excuse does Ninian Edwards give for getting himself and his wife out of the parlor so Lincoln can be alone with Mary Todd?

5. How old is Abe Lincoln at the time of Act 2, Scene 4 in his Springfield law office?

Short Essay Questions

1. As Lincoln contemplates breaking his engagement, Josh Speeds urges him to wait until he, Lincoln, is feeling calmer. Lincoln responds that he is desperate to have the matter settled. What is Josh Speed's larger concern about Lincoln under the circumstances?

2. According to Act 1, Scene 3, what is the relationship of Lincoln to Nancy and Bowling Green?

3. 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?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. Lincoln is reluctant to consider running for State Assembly. What is his main objection?

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

8. 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.

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

If one of the themes of the play is Lincoln's duty to serve his country, how does the playwright use symbols throughout the play to reinforce that theme?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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