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. 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?

3. In Play Two, The Courtship of Morning Star, what does Michael Rowen want now that he is prosperous?

4. How many years after Play Two does Play Three, The Homecoming, take place?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Why doesn't Tommy Jackson trust J.T. in Scene One of Play Six, Tall Tales?

2. 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?

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

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

6. From where does Tommy take the Rowen family pocket watch in Scene Eight of Play Seven and with what is the pocket watch always associated?

7. What does Cassius Biggs experience in France during World War One and how does it compare with what he experiences in the United States upon his return?

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

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

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Dreams are a recurring motif throughout The Kentucky Cycle. Cite three examples from the text of the use of this motif and discuss what you think it represents in each example.

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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