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. In Play One, Masters of the Trade, how does Michael Rowen say he injures his ankle?

2. When Talbert and his men retreat to the river during their first battle in Play Five, what happens to Talbert?

3. Who does Michael Rowen bring back from Louisville with him in Play Three, The Homecoming?

4. In Play Four, what does Jeremiah call Zeke?

5. In Play Two, The Courtship of Morning Star, what does Rowen plan to do if Morning Star has a girl instead of a boy when she delivers the baby she is expecting?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why doesn't Joshua want the miners to walk out of the unsafe Blue Star Mine in Play Eight?

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

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

4. What is the significance of Morning Star's failure to tell her son about her visits to Joe Talbert?

5. What does the incident with the train in Scene Eleven of Play Seven indicate about the conflict between the coal miners and the mining company?

6. At the beginning of Play Seven, what is wrong with Mary Anne's son, Joshua, and how is Mary Anne coping with it?

7. Do things improve for the coal miners between the formation of the union in 1920 and Joshua Rowen's speech in Union Hall in 1954 at the beginning of Play Eight?

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

9. How does the mining accident in Scene Nine of Play Seven influence Mary Anne's opinion about the union?

10. How do the stories J.T. tells at supper in Scene Two of Play Six, Tall Tales, indicate he does not always tell the truth.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast three of the following African American characters from The Kentucky Cycle: Sallie Biggs, Jessie Biggs, Cassius Biggs, Sureta Biggs, and Franklin Biggs. Do the African American characters face different challenges than the Caucasian characters do throughout the cycle? Cite examples from the text to support your conclusions.

Essay Topic 2

Revenge is one of the themes in The Kentucky Cycle. Pick any three of the plays in the book and discuss what you think the author is trying to say about revenge in each one. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

The Kentucky Cycle by Robert Schenkkhan begins during the rugged frontier era. What do you think Schenkkan is saying about frontier life and the men and women who find our country through the frontier-era plays: Play One, Masters of the Trade; Play Two, The Courtship of Morning Star; and Play Three, The Homecoming? Cite examples from the text to support your conclusions.

(see the answer keys)

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