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. When Lincoln suggests he wants to die in Act 1, Scene 3, how do his friends respond?

2. How does Lincoln jokingly describe, in Act 2, Scene 5, the act of defending a murder suspect?

3. In Act 2, Scene 5, does Lincoln ask Mary Todd to marry him?

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

5. What are the Bowling Greens reading when Josh Speed arrives at their home in Act 1, Scene 3?

Short Essay Questions

1. Josh Speed and Bowling Green are longtime friends of Lincoln's; they have urged him for years to seek higher political office. In Act 2, Scene 4, what is their attitude toward Lincoln's reluctance to run for an important elected position?

2. 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?

3. Act 1, Scene 2 portrays Lincoln's first step toward a political destiny. The audience (or reader) knows that Lincoln will become one of the country's great Presidents. What symbols does the author use in this scene to heighten that feeling of political destiny?

4. Nancy Green and Bowling Green have a disagreement about whether Ann Rutledge is good for Lincoln. What are their respective opinions?

5. Lincoln tries to draw Ann out about her sadness, but she resists. However, he continues. Does this change Ann's perception of Lincoln?

6. 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?

7. Ninian Edwards, Lincoln's friend and brother-in-law of Mary Todd, enters with a gift and a wedding day message to Lincoln. What do the gift and the message tell the audience about Mary Todd?

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. Does Lincoln's teacher agree or disagree with the argument Webster makes for maintaining the Union in the speech Lincoln reads in the first scene of the play?

10. Why is it that debt is always heavy on Lincoln's mind during his early adulthood, covered by Act 1, Scene 1?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mentor Graham, Lincoln's teacher, is discussing the imperative mood. He points out that an imperative is not always a direct or even obvious command, and he has Lincoln read a newspaper account of a speech by Daniel Webster to the U.S. Senate. What is the topic of the speech and what is it that Webster is asking of the Senate? Explain how you know that Webster is using the imperative.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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