A Mencken Chrestomathy Quiz | One Week Quiz A

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This quiz consists of 5 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions through Chapter 23, Souvenirs of a Journalist, Chapter 24, Criticism.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How does Mencken react to a religious ceremony inside a basilica, as he recounts in Chapter 15?
(a) With intellectual curiosity.
(b) With joy.
(c) With disgust.
(d) With indifference.

2. What is Mencken's central critique for socialism?
(a) It is incompatible with the facts of history.
(b) It is a noble idea, but it has not been instituted correctly.
(c) The U.S. refuses to embrace Bolshevik-style socialism, which is the only socialism which has worked.
(d) It does not go far enough to redistribute wealth.

3. What is the chief problem with political theorists?
(a) They attempt to dignify the political order of their day.
(b) They are too antagonistic to the current political system.
(c) They have little sense of history.
(d) They hate politics in general.

4. How does Mencken define government?
(a) A war on the poor.
(b) A dozen men who can't do anything right.
(c) A conspiracy against superior men.
(d) A collection of the looniest among us.

5. In Chapter 23, Mencken attends a church service during the Scopes Monkey Trial. What is his impression of that service?
(a) He is outraged that they did not invite William Jennings Bryan.
(b) He is shocked by its barbarism.
(c) He is impressed with the sermon of the preacher.
(d) He is pleased by its sense of decorum.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why might "reflective and skeptical men" refrain from suicide?

2. What is the "average man's" opinion of government?

3. What kind of promises do politicians make?

4. Mencken sees that too often any discussion of suicide is rooted in what incorrect notion?

5. What was Mencken's opinion of New Deal programs?

(see the answer key)

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