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. What is Lincoln doing as he waits for the voting results?

2. The influential men visiting Lincoln ask about his views on which two topics?

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

4. What is Mary Todd's mood when she finds out--at the last minute--that important men are coming to talk to her husband?

5. What institution does Douglas use to bolster his argument that negroes are not equal under the Constitution?

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

3. 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.

4. In his prayer for Seth Gale's son, Lincoln also prays for something else. What is it?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. 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?

9. As he is leaving Springfield, what is Lincoln's hope regarding his future?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The opening scene of the play features just two characters, Mentor Graham and Abe Lincoln. The scene ranges across a number of topics, touching on national politics, Lincoln's feeling that death might be imminent, and his career prospects.

Using examples from the scene, what does the audience (or reader) learn about Lincoln's personality? Is he outgoing or introverted? Is he optimistic or pessimistic? Does he look at the world from a vantage point of confidence? Does the audience get a sense of his political views? If so, how are they conveyed?

Essay Topic 2

The basic form of drama is often defined as a character with a goal, faced with an obstacle to achieving that goal, followed by efforts by the character--helped or hindered by others--to overcome the obstacles and achieve the goal. In the process, the main character often undergoes an emotional or mental change of some sort, or has an insight that allows him/her to succeed. How does the play, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, fit into that skeleton of a dramatic work?

Essay Topic 3

Seth Gale and his family are moving West, accompanied by Gobey, a free negro who works for them. What route West does Gale choose? What was happening in the nation that caused him to choose that route and to want to settle in Oregon?

(see the answer keys)

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