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. Who is Ann Rutledge?

2. What is the weather, as the Greens sit in their parlor, waiting for Abe to return from Ann Rutledge's home?

3. Ninian Andrews arrives at Lincoln's office and learns about a sad event. What is it?

4. Who is President during the time represented in Act 2, Scene 4?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. At the beginning of the play's final scene, it's clear that national tension have risen as a result of Lincoln's election. What worries Kavanagh as he waits for the Lincolns to board the train for Washington?

2. In his prayer for Seth Gale's son, Lincoln also prays for something else. What is it?

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

4. Almost at the moment he learns of his election, Lincoln's life changes in a way he doesn't like. In the play, who or want is the sign of this change? And which of the play's themes does this change fit into?

5. 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?

6. On Election Day, as the Lincolns wait for voting results, Mary becomes increasingly anxious. Finally, Lincoln suggests she go home to wait. She responds with a surprising outburst. What does she say and why does she feel so strongly?

7. At the beginning of Act 2, Scene 5, Elizabeth Edwards is responding to a bit of news which surprises her--even though she might have seen it coming. What is the news and who brought it to her attention?

8. 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?

9. While Lincoln asserts that he submits to the will of God, he doesn't belong to any church. What are his objections to organized forms of worship?

10. Is Lincoln liked or disliked in the community of New Salem, according to his teacher in Act 1, Scene 1?

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

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?

Essay Topic 3

From the opening scene, Lincoln is preoccupied with the specter of premature death. Even as he bids farewell to the people of Springfield, he seems melancholy and doubtful that he will ever return to the town. Trace the line of Lincoln's fatalism through the play. Explain its origins and describe what effect, if any, it had on Lincoln's initial reluctance to take a step onto the national stage.

(see the answer keys)

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