The Kentucky Cycle Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Robert Schenkkan
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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. Whose raiders does Jed join after he leaves Talbert's army in Play Five?

2. How old are Rebecca Talbert and Patrick Rowen in Play Three, The Homecoming?

3. What secret does Jeremiah reveal at the end of Play Four, Ties That Bind?

4. When Tommy confronts him in Chapter Six, who does J.T. say he comes to visit?

5. What is the Cherokee term for Morning Star?

Short Essay Questions

1. What character flaw do Patrick Rowen and his father Michael share and what dark act does it lead each of them to commit?

2. What does J.T. talk Jed Rowen into selling in Scene Two of Play Six and does Jed fully understand what he is selling?

3. How is Ezekiel Rowen's nickname of Preacher ironic?

4. From where does Joshua get the Rowen gold watch in Play Nine, what does he do with it and what do his actions symbolize?

5. What evidence in Play Eight indicates that Margaret Rowen is an alcoholic?

6. What does Patrick Rowen tell Rebecca in Play Three, The Homecoming, that his father does to his baby sister?

7. Explain how Scene Three of Play Eight reflects the civil rights movement occurring in America during the mid-1950s when the play is set.

8. Describe Jed Rowen's dream at the beginning of Play Five, God's Great Supper.

9. In Play Four, Ties That Bind, why does Patrick Rowen seem to favor his younger son, Zach, over his older son, Zeke?

10. What solution does Abe suggest in Scene Three of Play Seven for reducing Joshua's fever and what does he suggest Mary Anne do to prevent further such fevers?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Several murders occur in The Kentucky Cycle. Discuss Michael Rowen's murder of Sam, Patrick Rowen's murders of Michael Rowen and Joe Talbert, and Jed Rowen's murder of Richard Talbert. What motivates each of these killings and what theme(s) or lesson(s) do you think the author is trying to convey through these incidents? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

The land motivates members of the Rowen family from Michael Rowen in Play One to Joshua Rowen in Play Nine. Discuss the relationship of the Rowens and their land and how this relationship parallels the history of the coal industry in the state of Kentucky. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Pick three of the following marriages and compare and contrast the relationships: Lallie and Jed Rowen, Michael Rowen and Morning Star, Joshua and Margaret Rowen, and Mary Anne Rowen and Tommy Jackson. Do any of these relationships seem happy? What historical events or conflicts do some of these marriages reflect? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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