Abe Lincoln in Illinois Test | Final 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 is the crowd outside receiving voting results?

2. Douglas accuses Lincoln of having sympathy for slaves but no sympathy for another suffering group of people. Who are they?

3. How does Lincoln conclude his prayer for the health of Jimmy Gale?

4. What does Seth Gale suggest might happen if slavery spreads West to new states and territories?

5. How does Mary Todd describe Lincoln's behavior and absence over the previous two years?

Short Essay Questions

1. Stephen Douglas takes the position that "each state should mind its own business," says Lincoln in the debate. It might seem like the safer course, he argues, but there is a danger to following that advice. What is the danger that Lincoln foresees?

2. A few days after meeting Seth Gale, Abe Lincoln arrives at the home of Mary Todd. She is still single and Abe plans to ask her, again, to marry him. Does the fact that Mary is still single, two years after the broken engagement to Lincoln, indicate anything about her character? Support your answer with your interpretation of the text, both from Act 2, Scene 8 and from earlier episodes in the play.

3. Lincoln has an outburst of his own, in response to Mary. What are his complaints against her?

4. The cheering crowd chants for Lincoln to make a speech from the back of the railroad car. He begins by naming the problems facing the nation. But he finishes on a note of hope. What outcome is Lincoln hoping to achieve?

5. What is the effect on Lincoln of Gale's idealism, his vow to denounce his American citizenship if the government doesn't ban slavery?

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 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?

8. Despite Mary Lincoln's and Josh Speed's entreaties that Lincoln treat his visitors seriously because they are influential, Lincoln can't help but give them a little of his backwood's humor. How does he respond when Henry D. Sturveson says they have come to see if Lincoln will be a suitable candidate?

9. Lincoln, says Douglas in the debate, is stirring up rebellion against authority. What is the danger that Douglas foresees? And what is the solution he proposes?

10. Josh Speed is awaiting Lincoln's visitors, too. He is clearly aware of the tensions between Mary and Abe. How does Speed respond when Mary suggests that Speed, among others, probably thinks of her as a bitter, nagging woman?

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

Based on the scene in the tavern with Ann Rutledge and later scenes with Mary Todd Lincoln, compare and contrast the personalities of the two women. In your opinion, which woman would have been the best wife for Lincoln? Base your reasons on aspects of their personalities as described in the play. Would Lincoln have become President if he had been married to Ann Rutledge rather than Mary Todd?

Essay Topic 3

The trouble with politics, Lincoln says, is that "you go into politics and you may get elected...And if you get elected, you've got to go to the city. I don't want none of that."

Mentor Graham--and later, local political leaders--talk about Lincoln's fitness for political office, but there is a paradox in Lincoln's personality. What is it about Lincoln that his friends and teachers think makes him a good candidate (use examples from the play)? What is it about his personality that would seem to contradict their view of him?

(see the answer keys)

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