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. What is Mary Todd's lifelong dream for herself?

2. What reason does Lincoln give in Act 2, Scene 4 for turning down the opportunity to speak against slavery?

3. In Scene 2, Act 4, what office is Lincoln seeking?

4. What does Lincoln's companion think of Lincoln's plan for his wedding?

5. Lincoln tells Josh Speed to give his letter for Mary Todd to Herndon to deliver. How does Josh respond?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. 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?

4. Why does Lincoln decide to run for office after talking to Ann, at the end of Act 1, Scene 2? Did she encourage him?

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

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. In Act 3, Scene 9, Stephen Douglas says the question of equal rights for slaves has been legally settled. How was the issue settled and what was the decision?

8. 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?

9. 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?

10. In Act 2, Scene 8, Lincoln apologizes for being a coward. He says he shrank from the marriage because he didn't want or believe in the destiny Mary envisions for him. Now, though, he says he wants to "strive to deserve" her faith. Does the way that Lincoln again asks her to marry him indicate that he loves her or has some other reason for marrying her?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Before the scene in which Lincoln debates Stephen Douglas, there has been talk about Lincoln's duty to the nation. But most descriptions of that perceived duty came from other characters, not Lincoln. Yet, in the debate with Douglas, Lincoln is very specific about not only his duty, but the duty of all citizens to do what's right for the country. At what point in the play does the audience sense that Lincoln has begun to see the exact shape of his duty? How does he come to define his responsibility? Does the audience (or reader) see his thinking evolve?

Essay Topic 2

Shortly after meeting with Seth Gale and discussing the future of the country with Gale, Lincoln visits Mary Todd at home and they agree to marry. What role did Mary Todd play in Lincoln's successes? Would he have been elected President without her? Support your thesis with examples from the play.

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.

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