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

2. What is the relationship between free will and morality?
(a) Free will and morality work hand in hand in a positive way.
(b) Free will has no relationship to morality.
(c) Free will creates several difficulties for morality.
(d) Free will is the cause as well as the effect of morality.

3. How does Mencken describe Oliver Wendell Holmes?
(a) He was a brilliant reasoner.
(b) He was a tool of liberal elites.
(c) He was a completely inept United States Senator.
(d) He was a tool of conservative fuddy-duddies.

4. What kind of men has history been written by, to date?
(a) The most intelligent men, and this is why history cannot be understood by most.
(b) Men more interested in power than factual accuracy.
(c) Noble men of purpose.
(d) Third-rate, inferior men.

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

6. What period in history does Mencken refer to as "New Deal No. 1"?
(a) North Africa in the 1900s.
(b) Britain in the 1910s.
(c) France in the 1840s.
(d) America in the 1770s.

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

8. What effect has intermarriage had on the American South?
(a) It has introduced culture such as art and literature into the American South.
(b) It has positively blurred the lines between high class and low class.
(c) It has negatively blurred the lines between high class and low class.
(d) It has infused the American South with the very best qualities of Western Europe.

9. What does Mencken believe about the universality of morality?
(a) Morality is specific to a particular individual.
(b) Morality is specific to regions of the world.
(c) Morality is universal, and differences between moral systems are small.
(d) Morality depends upon the language one speaks.

10. New England owes much of its history to what group of people?
(a) Manhattan Indians.
(b) Anti-Puritans.
(c) Delaware Indians.
(d) The Founding Fathers.

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

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

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What kind of sense of right and wrong do children have?

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

3. What is Mencken's hope for democracy?

4. Who rules American culture, according to Chapter 10?

5. What does Mencken NOT believe about the possibility for morality to change over time?

(see the answer keys)

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