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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 does Seth Gale suggest might happen if slavery spreads West to new states and territories?
2. What has Mary Todd been doing while Lincoln entertains his guests?
3. Who is Lincoln's main rival for the presidency?
4. Asked how he'll feel if he loses, how does Lincoln predict he will feel?
5. How many states are there on Election Day, 1860?
Short Essay Questions
1. Where is Gale taking his family as he meets with Lincoln in Act 2, Scene 7? Why is he going?
2. 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?
3. Lincoln tells Mary Todd that his encounter with Seth Gale a few days earlier was the spur that brought him to her door. What was the decision Lincoln made while visiting with Gale and how does the playwright convey Lincoln's ambivalence about that decision?
4. In his prayer for Seth Gale's son, Lincoln also prays for something else. What is it?
5. 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?
6. 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?
7. Lincoln has an outburst of his own, in response to Mary. What are his complaints against her?
8. As he waits for the election results, Lincoln calls the evening a "death watch." What are Lincoln's feelings about winning the election?
9. 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?
10. 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?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Early on, Lincoln tells his backers that--if he does decide to seek elected office--they won't find him arguing for change or progress or revolution. He continues to hold to this conservatism now that he is a lawyer--he describes himself as someone who "keeps his mouth shut and abides by the Constitution." How does Lincoln explain his aversion to getting involved and arguing for change in which he believes?
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
Ben Mattling, the hard-drinking Revolutionary War veteran in Rutledge's Tavern, tells Lincoln to stay out of politics: "You have no place in that den of thieves that's called government," he says. What is going on in the country (as described or implied in the play) that has so enraged Mattling about government? Why does he think Lincoln is unsuited for elected office?
This section contains 1,288 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)