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 Billy Herndon?

2. What does Lincoln see on the boat from Quincy to Alton that shocks him?

3. Who admits being the one who suggested recruiting Lincoln to run for office?

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

5. When Lincoln arrives at the Edwards' home in Act 2, Scene 5, does he sense tension between Mary Todd and her sister?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. 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?

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

4. 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?

5. Ninian Edwards is Lincoln's friend and an admirer, he tells Mary Todd. And yet, he is still unsure what she sees in Lincoln as a potential husband. What does Mary Todd tell her brother-in-law in response to that question?

6. 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?

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

8. 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?

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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