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

2. What is Mencken's opinion about the variety of political systems?
(a) Dictatorship is preferable to oligarchy.
(b) All governments accomplish the same thing and there are very little differences.
(c) Aristocracy is by far the worst form of government.
(d) Different political systems accomplish vastly different things.

3. Which is NOT one of the qualities Mencken ascribes to William Jennings Bryan?
(a) Insanity.
(b) Lack of dignity.
(c) Charlatanism.
(d) Preference to keep in the company of intellectuals.

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

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

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

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

8. What aspect of Lincoln's historical persona does Mencken doubt, or at least question?
(a) His pragmatic, practical approach to political problems.
(b) His status as an outsider and a "dark horse."
(c) His adherence to Christianity.
(d) His reputation for being a great orator.

9. What is Mencken's belief about morality?
(a) Morality is necessary.
(b) Morality is a made-up concept that doesn't exist.
(c) Morality is reserved only for the aristocracy.
(d) Morality is unnecessary.

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

11. What kind of men does a democracy produce?
(a) Energetic men with too much time on their hands.
(b) Depressing men full of nostalgia.
(c) Stupid men who can barely master the multiplication tables.
(d) Noble, confident men who do not envy others.

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

13. 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 replaced religious values with secular ones.
(c) It destroyed the Southern aristocracy.
(d) It created the Southern aristocracy.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What do most women think of their husbands according to Mencken?

2. What does Mencken see as the problem with contemporary Protestantism?

3. What comparison does Mencken make between man and animal in Chapter 1?

4. In Chapter 7, Mencken notes that there are too few books written about what subject?

5. Per Chapter 2, what kind of person has Mencken never met?

(see the answer keys)

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