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. What is Mencken's assessment of Abraham Lincoln?
(a) He was a bumbler and not fit for office.
(b) He was an out-and-out racist.
(c) He was a hard-living chauvinist dinosaur.
(d) He was a practical politician of great talent and rhetoric.

2. What was the most damning effect of the Civil War, in regard to the South?
(a) It introduced technology into an innocent and primitive society.
(b) It destroyed the Southern aristocracy.
(c) It created the Southern aristocracy.
(d) It replaced religious values with secular ones.

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

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

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

6. What is the "altruist" motivated by?
(a) A divine inspiration.
(b) Out and out greed.
(c) Being uncomfortable with unhappy people around him or her.
(d) A selfish sense of self-worth.

7. What is Mencken's opinion of romantic love?
(a) It is a great and noble thing.
(b) Men must only marry for romantic love, and not for other considerations.
(c) It benefits men rather than women.
(d) It is a dangerous farce.

8. Who is the "ideal citizen of Christendom" according to Chapter 3?
(a) Young men drained of passion.
(b) The hapless hero of a female novel.
(c) Young men full of passion.
(d) An emotionally cold woman.

9. What aspect of President Grant does Mencken admire?
(a) His hard-living, genuine lifestyle.
(b) His military prowess.
(c) His reputation for a clean, corruption-free administration.
(d) His oratorical prowess.

10. What does Mencken NOT believe about the possibility for morality to change over time?
(a) Morality can adopt new ideas, like Christian beliefs.
(b) Morality was determined in ancient times, and has not changed.
(c) Morality evolves and grows over time.
(d) Different subsections of morality can grow over time.

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

12. Why does Mencken admire John D. Rockefeller?
(a) For his political acumen.
(b) For his research foundations.
(c) For his larger-than-life lifestyle.
(d) For his business prowess.

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

14. What group of people has been "overestimated" throughout the course of human history?
(a) Greeks.
(b) Egyptians.
(c) Barbarians.
(d) Russians.

15. 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 is simple, but still very relevant today.
(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.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the proper function of punishment for crimes?

2. What effect has intermarriage had on the American South?

3. Who derives several advantages from marriage?

4. What subject does Mencken begin his volume with?

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

(see the answer keys)

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