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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. In the debate, Douglas says Lincoln appears innocent but is very good at doing something dangerous with his words. What is it?
2. What is the essential element Lincoln's party is seeking in a presidential candidate when they ask him to run?
3. What is the name of Seth Gale's young son?
4. What state delivers the final votes needed for Lincoln's victory?
5. When Lincoln leaves the parlor for a moment, how does one of his visitors in Act 3, Scene 9 describe him?
Short Essay Questions
1. 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?
2. 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?
3. Lincoln has an outburst of his own, in response to Mary. What are his complaints against her?
4. 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?
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. In Act 2, Scene 7, it has been two years since Lincoln broke off his engagement. He has been drifting since then, but has returned to New Salem in time to meet his old friend, Seth Gale. The Gale family is heading west, to Oregon. Gale has had a hard journey and now his young son is suffering from swamp fever. What does he want from Lincoln at this time?
7. 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?
8. 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?
9. As he waits for the election results, Lincoln calls the evening a "death watch." What are Lincoln's feelings about winning the election?
10. As he is leaving Springfield, what is Lincoln's hope regarding his future?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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?
Essay Topic 2
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?
Essay Topic 3
If one of the themes of the play is Lincoln's duty to serve his country, how does the playwright use symbols throughout the play to reinforce that theme?
This section contains 1,342 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)