A Mencken Chrestomathy Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Which Southern state does Mencken particularly mourn in his obituary on the American South?
(a) Georgia.
(b) Virginia.
(c) Texas.
(d) Louisiana.

2. Mencken sees that too often any discussion of suicide is rooted in what incorrect notion?
(a) Death is painful.
(b) The family would suffer in a suicide.
(c) Killing oneself is an expensive proposition.
(d) Death is painless.

3. What subject does Mencken begin his volume with?
(a) The mysteries of women.
(b) The nature of man.
(c) The horrors of the carnival.
(d) The automobile.

4. What is Man's one unique characteristic, per Chapter 1?
(a) Romantic feeling.
(b) Imagination.
(c) The ability to betray.
(d) Optimism.

5. What or who rules the American South?
(a) Baptist and Methodist "barbarism".
(b) Secular liberals.
(c) A love for automobiles and technology.
(d) An aristocratic class.

6. What kind of people are most often forgotten by historical records, per Chapter 12?
(a) The commoners.
(b) Great warriors.
(c) Respectful and intelligent men.
(d) Courageous women.

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

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

9. What is the subject of Chapter 7?
(a) Classical composers.
(b) Death.
(c) Taxes.
(d) Quackery.

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

11. What was the goal of early democratists?
(a) Definitions of concepts like truth and beauty.
(b) The overthrow of the wealthy.
(c) Philosophical frameworks to support democracy.
(d) Concrete material gains.

12. What do most women think of their husbands according to Mencken?
(a) Women are indifferent to their husbands and use them as mere tools.
(b) Women love and respect their husbands.
(c) Women pity their husbands and consider them asses.
(d) Women fear and loathe their husbands.

13. At what event did Mencken first personally encounter William Jennings Bryan?
(a) The funeral of Grover Cleveland.
(b) The 1912 Democratic National Convention.
(c) The Scopes Monkey trial.
(d) Bryan's congressional trial for corruption.

14. Before democracy came to be, what did people believe this system of government to be?
(a) A wretched form of government that should not come to pass.
(b) They believed democracy was just another form of dictatorship.
(c) A heavenly form of government.
(d) It was such a foreign concept, no one could really imagine it.

15. How did morality come to be, according to Mencken?
(a) Morality is a creation of the Christian church.
(b) Morality is the product of the woman's insidious influence over man.
(c) Morality evolved from the innate sense of right and wrong in children.
(d) Morality evolved from social practices required to survive.

Short Answer Questions

1. What "call" does Mencken make to America's poets in Chapter 7?

2. Why is the "pretty man" hated?

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

4. How intelligent are women according to Mencken?

5. How does Mencken feel about the overall capacity for virtue in the human race?

(see the answer keys)

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