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 does Earl Tod do before he offers Michael Rowen food and water?

2. In Play Four, what does Patrick Rowen ask Jessie to do with the circuit court's mules, if any shooting occurs during the court's visit?

3. In what year does Play Four, Ties That Bind, take place?

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

5. In the prologue of Play Six, who stands off to the side while 14-year-old Mary Anne Rowen sits at the creek?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is the significance of the pock marks on Morning Star's skin in Play Two, The Courtship of Morning Star?

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

4. Explain how Jeremiah's name foreshadows the fate of the Rowen family in Play Four, Ties That Bind.

5. What is Scotty's tragic flaw?

6. What evidence is there in Chapters Four to Seven of Play Seven that Tommy Jackson is not interested in supporting a coal miners' union?

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

8. What does the infected blanket Michael Rowen gives the Indians in Play One, Masters of the Trade, symbolize?

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

10. 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?

Essay 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

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.

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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