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. Besides debt, what topic often occupies Lincoln's mind?

2. What is Bowling Green's attitude toward the possibility of Lincoln marrying Ann Rutledge?

3. What is Lincoln's response to a poem he reads regarding life and death?

4. What does Mary Todd say when asked in Act. 2, Scene 5, if she is considering marriage to Lincoln?

5. How does Lincoln surprise Ann Rutledge while she is clearing tables during Act 1, Scene 2?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is Ann Rutledge's mood when she enters to clear the glasses of the men who have left the tavern in Act 1, Scene 2? Why is she feeling that way?

3. 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?

4. What is Lincoln's feeling about his career prospects as a young adult studying English in New Salem?

5. 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?

6. How desperate is Lincoln and what is the event that seems to have caused his emotional outbreak?

7. 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?

8. 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?

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. By Act 2, Scene 4, it is clear that Lincoln's friendship with Ninian Edwards (the governor's son) has advanced. What evidence does Lincoln offer of his popularity?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mary Todd is a determined woman, according to her depiction in the play. She settles on Lincoln as a husband over the objections of her sister and even takes him back after he jilts her and is out of touch for several years. Meanwhile, his words and demeanor suggest that Lincoln might have had other motives than love in wanting to join his destiny with Mary's. After 18 years, they do not seem happily married and, when he is elected, they argue. Besides love, what were Lincoln's motives in marrying Mary Todd? What were her motives for agreeing? Was their decision to marry good or bad? Support your opinion with examples from the play.

Essay Topic 2

His visit with Seth Gale in Act 2, Scene 6 has an emotional effect on Lincoln. What did the two men talk about? How did their conversation affect Lincoln?

Essay Topic 3

In their debate, both Lincoln and Stephen Douglas use elaborate metaphors to describe one another--Douglas says Lincoln is adept at inserting a dagger into his opponent's ribs, while Lincoln parries that Douglas keeps 10 daggers in the air at once. Douglas says Lincoln slyly diverts a listener's attention from the real problems of free workers, while Lincoln says Douglas tells an audience whatever it wants to hear. Which man is the more effective speaker, judging from the debate in this play? Support your opinion with examples of both strengths and weaknesses.

(see the answer keys)

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