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. How does Mary Todd characterize the life her sister and brother-in-law have chosen?

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

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

4. What is the wedding gift Ninian has brought Abe?

5. Who are the main characters in the first scene of the play?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. 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?

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

6. 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?

7. 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?

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

9. 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?

10. 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?

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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