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 politician does Mencken refer to as "a good man in a bad trade"?
(a) William Jennings Bryan.
(b) George Washington.
(c) Grover Cleveland.
(d) Abraham Lincoln.

2. Per Chapter 2, what kind of person has Mencken never met?
(a) A moral man that was honorable.
(b) An altruist who actually did good for anybody.
(c) A quack with a conscience.
(d) A metaphysician who was intellectually curious.

3. In Chapter 7, Mencken notes that there are too few books written about what subject?
(a) True crime.
(b) Death.
(c) Taxes.
(d) Women.

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

5. Who derives several advantages from marriage?
(a) Only the state.
(b) Men only.
(c) Men and women equally.
(d) Women only.

6. What does the "romantic" type of person inevitably do?
(a) Exaggerates.
(b) Betrays.
(c) Makes light of serious situations.
(d) Befriends everyone they meet.

7. Who does Mencken dub "The Lady of Joy"?
(a) The happily married woman.
(b) The Virgin Mary.
(c) His wife.
(d) A prostitute.

8. Privately, politicians are what kind of people?
(a) Criminals.
(b) Exceedingly eccentric.
(c) Lying wretches.
(d) Charming individuals.

9. What is Mencken's opinion of the American South?
(a) He thinks highly of it because of its emphasis on grassroots values.
(b) He loathes it and believes it to be a crude and uncultured place.
(c) He thinks it is a spiritually enlightened place.
(d) He believes that southerners are intellectually superior to northerners, but rarely show it.

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

11. How does Mencken describe President Coolidge?
(a) He was a typical American.
(b) His life was marred by continual misfortune.
(c) He was reserved and agnostic.
(d) He was an orator of great skill and emotive power.

12. What is the relationship between Anglo-Saxons and civilization?
(a) Anglo-Saxons created civilization, and are its last bastion of hope.
(b) Anglo-Saxons choose to live outside civilization because they are morally superior.
(c) Anglo-Saxons are the least civilized of all white people.
(d) Anglo-Saxons are the most civilized of all white people.

13. What does Mencken believe about the concept of evil?
(a) Evil is real, and exists all around us.
(b) Evil is just another word for good; it's all relative.
(c) Evil is a made-up term, and does not really exist.
(d) Evil is the reason why children are born.

14. How does Mencken feel about the overall capacity for virtue in the human race?
(a) Most people are virtuous, but a few people spoil it for everyone.
(b) Everyone is virtuous, it's just a matter of uncovering it.
(c) Virtue is a nonsense term, because everything is relative.
(d) Very few men are virtuous.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the "believer" type of person inevitably do?

2. What is the relationship between free will and morality?

3. What was the most damning effect of the Civil War, in regard to the South?

4. At what event did Mencken first personally encounter William Jennings Bryan?

5. What was the goal of early democratists?

(see the answer keys)

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