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. What cities does J.T. claim to visit in Play Six?

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

3. How long after the first play does the second play, The Courtship of Morning Star, take place?

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

5. What does the Indian woman try to hit Michael Rowen with in Scene Two of The Courtship of Morning Star?

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss how J.T. fascinates Mary Anne Rowen in Play Six, Tall Tales.

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

3. Why does Tommy want to hire the preacher to produce a fake birth certificate in Scene Seven of Play Seven, even though Mary Anne can produce Joshua's true birth certificate?

4. Discuss Richard Talbert's attempt in Play Five, God's Great Supper, to persuade Jed Rowen to resolve their family differences.

5. Discuss how Tommy helps Abe get hired at the mines in Scene Two of Play Seven.

6. Which Talberts does Jed let live when his family attacks the Talbert homestead in Play Five, God's Great Supper?

7. Is there any evidence in the text to suggest that the miners and Andrew know that Joshua Rowen is underage when he starts working at the mine in Scene Eight of Play Seven?

8. Discuss the significance of the title of Play Seven, Fire in the Hole, both literally and figuratively.

9. Discuss Joshua's dream at the beginning of Play Nine and what it symbolizes.

10. Mary Anne Rowen tells Joshua at the end of Play Seven that the union is now his family. In what ways is the coal miners' union like a family to the miners?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Discuss symbolism and metaphor in The Kentucky Cycle. Give three examples of symbolism in the plays in this book and discuss what the symbols are used to convey.

Essay Topic 2

Trace the relationship of the Talbert family with the Rowen family through The Kentucky Cycle, starting with Joe and Rebecca Talbert and ending with James Talbert Winston. Are the two families at peace by the end of the cycle? Why or why not? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

What character flaws and strengths do you see in the Rowen family through the generations depicted in The Kentucky Cycle? Select at least three characters from the nine plays and discuss how these flaws and strengths help or hinder the characters in dealing with the conflicts in their relationships and in their historical eras. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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