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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 causes Lincoln to change his mind about his future?
2. What does Jack Armstrong tell Seth Gale about Lincoln while they wait for Lincoln's arrival in Act 2, Scene 7?
3. How does the playwright describe the appearance of Stephen Douglas as he takes the stage to debate Lincoln?
4. What is it that the visitors to Lincoln's home in Act 3, Scene 10 want to talk about with him?
5. What institution does Douglas use to bolster his argument that negroes are not equal under the Constitution?
Short Essay Questions
1. 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?
2. 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?
3. As he waits for the election results, Lincoln calls the evening a "death watch." What are Lincoln's feelings about winning the election?
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. In his prayer for Seth Gale's son, Lincoln also prays for something else. What is it?
6. 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?
7. 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?
8. As he is leaving Springfield, what is Lincoln's hope regarding his future?
9. Lincoln has an outburst of his own, in response to Mary. What are his complaints against her?
10. What is the effect on Lincoln of Gale's idealism, his vow to denounce his American citizenship if the government doesn't ban slavery?
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
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?"
Essay Topic 3
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.
This section contains 1,380 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)