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. Seth Gale tells Abe he's feeling "pretty scared" about his son's health. What does Lincoln tell him?

2. What is Lincoln wearing as he arrives for the train to Washington?

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

4. What are Mary's first words to Abe when he arrives after a two-year absence?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. In Act 3, Scene 10, which takes place in the Lincolns' home, it is clear that the Lincolns' marriage is not happy, or at the least, has problems. Thus far, the play has made clear Mary's part in creating problems. In this scene, the playwright uses a cigar to show that Lincoln isn't an innocent victim in the matter of the marriage. How does the cigar reveal one of Lincoln's faults?

3. 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?

4. Mary Todd accepts Lincoln's return in Act 2, Scene 8 without much resistance. She extracts a promise from Lincoln that he'll never leave again, then declares her love for him and her determination "to fight by his side" until death parts them. Does Mary Todd truly love Lincoln or is she using him?

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

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. Where is Gale taking his family as he meets with Lincoln in Act 2, Scene 7? Why is he going?

9. 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?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Mary Todd is a determined woman, according to her depiction in the play. She settles on Lincoln as a husband over the objections of her sister and even takes him back after he jilts her and is out of touch for several years. Meanwhile, his words and demeanor suggest that Lincoln might have had other motives than love in wanting to join his destiny with Mary's. After 18 years, they do not seem happily married and, when he is elected, they argue. Besides love, what were Lincoln's motives in marrying Mary Todd? What were her motives for agreeing? Was their decision to marry good or bad? Support your opinion with examples from the play.

(see the answer keys)

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