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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 many states are there on Election Day, 1860?
2. What has Mary Todd been doing while Lincoln entertains his guests?
3. How old is Lincoln as he leaves Illinois for the White House?
4. What happens when Seth Gale's boy takes a turn for the worse before the doctor arrives at the end of Act 2, Scene 7?
5. What is the name of President-elect Lincoln's bodyguard?
Short Essay Questions
1. 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?
2. 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?
3. 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?
4. 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?
5. Lincoln has an outburst of his own, in response to Mary. What are his complaints against her?
6. 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?
7. Until he was elected, Lincoln was clean-shaven. But, as he heads to Washington to take office, he is bearded. Why did he grow a beard?
8. 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?
9. In his prayer for Seth Gale's son, Lincoln also prays for something else. What is it?
10. Where is Gale taking his family as he meets with Lincoln in Act 2, Scene 7? Why is he going?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 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
Based on his self-descriptions in the scene set in Springfield with Josh Speed and Bowling Green--"I'm no fighting man," he says--is Lincoln a coward who won't fight for what he believes? How does Lincoln explain his own "cowardice?"
This section contains 1,194 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)