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 Four, what does Jeremiah call Zeke?

2. In Play Five, which Talberts does Ezekiel tell Jed they kill?

3. Why is Rebecca Talbert unhappy with Patrick Rowen at the beginning of Play Three, The Homecoming?

4. In Play Four, to whom does Patrick Rowen owe money now that his bank folds?

5. Who is wresting as Play Four, Ties That Bind, opens?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Play Eight, in what ways does Scotty's experience in the Korean War seem to influence his opinions about the mining company and the union?

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

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

4. Why does Jed Rowen agree to join the Confederate Army with Richard Talbert?

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

6. What does Michael Rowen claim his life is like prior to coming to Kentucky?

7. How does Jed's dream change at the end of Play Five, God's Great Supper, from what it is at the beginning of the play?

8. Why does Joshua hesitate to sell his property in Play Nine and is this how he always feels or is it indicative of a change in his character?

9. Why do the union and the mining company have to share responsibility for the mining accident at the end of Play Eight?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Freedom and independence 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 freedom and independence in each one. Does the historical era of a play limit or expand the freedom of women or minorities from what it is in previous or subsequent plays? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Select three plays from The Kentucky Cycle. Discuss how the titles of the plays relate to the plots and characters in each play. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the treatment of women in The Kentucky Cycle. Do the men in the plays treat the women as equals or do they try to dominate them? Does the treatment of women change over the course of the cycles? Cite at least three examples from the text to support your conclusions.

(see the answer keys)

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