A Mencken Chrestomathy Quiz | Four Week Quiz A

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This quiz consists of 5 multiple choice and 5 short answer questions through Chapter 9, Democracy, Chapter 10, Americans.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is Mencken's opinion of the belief that man has a soul, according to Chapter 1?
(a) The notion of a soul is humanity's one bright spot.
(b) The notion of a soul has failed to result in more people acting like God.
(c) The notion of a soul is simple, but still very relevant today.
(d) The notion of a soul has led to unprecedented successes in philosophy and elsewhere.

2. Why might "reflective and skeptical men" refrain from suicide?
(a) For the thrill of physical activity.
(b) For the great women in life.
(c) For the good food in life.
(d) For the sense of humor in life.

3. Why is Mencken unable to embrace democratic political theory, as he himself states it in Chapter 9?
(a) He is incapable of being envious of others.
(b) He is not poor, and so cannot see democracy's benefits.
(c) He is morally superior to democrats.
(d) He is simply too cultured and sophisticated.

4. Punishment for crime is too often what, according to Mencken?
(a) The product of poor people exerting influence over the rich.
(b) Hypocritical and dishonest.
(c) Effective, which results in the murder of the human spirit.
(d) Cruel and unusual.

5. What is the problem with trying to punishment a government for not working well?
(a) There are too many bureaucracies and it is impossible to determine who to punish.
(b) The government itself is in control of the means of punishment.
(c) Voting is usually rigged.
(d) Punishing the government will lead to revenge tactics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who is the "ideal citizen of Christendom" according to Chapter 3?

2. What kind of promises do politicians make?

3. What does Mencken believe about the universality of morality?

4. What kind of men does a democracy produce?

5. In "female novels," how are males portrayed according to Mencken?

(see the answer key)

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