A Mencken Chrestomathy Test | Final Test - Easy

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

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Who does Mencken call "the national ideal of a literary character"?
(a) Ring Lardner.
(b) Ambrose Bierce.
(c) William Dean Howells.
(d) Joseph Conrad.

2. Mencken has what criticism for "new poets"?
(a) They are too cerebral and scientific.
(b) They are too clever for their own good.
(c) They are too romantic and instinctive.
(d) They are too musical.

3. What unusual stance does Mencken take in regards to disease?
(a) Diseases should not be treated with medicine.
(b) Some diseases actually improve lives.
(c) Religion is sufficient to address disease.
(d) All diseases are beneficial, as they help to thin human populations.

4. Which is the "most democratic" of art forms according to Mencken?
(a) Music.
(b) Sculpture.
(c) Poetry.
(d) Drama.

5. Where did the Scopes Monkey Trial take place?
(a) Mexico, Missouri.
(b) Dayton, Tennessee.
(c) Frankfurt, Kentucky.
(d) Chicago, Illinois.

6. Sister Aimee was an evangelist in what branch of Christian religion?
(a) Baptist.
(b) Catholic.
(c) Methodist.
(d) Scientologist.

7. Why does the topic of "disease" give pathologists pause?
(a) It is difficult to deal with terminal cases.
(b) Pathologists are extremely underfunded.
(c) It is very hard to define.
(d) Medicine largely does not know how to combat disease.

8. A man's taste in poetry is a reflection of what?
(a) His inner cravings.
(b) His intelligence.
(c) His sense of romance.
(d) His love of life.

9. What word might Mencken use to characterize Mary Baker G. Eddy?
(a) Intellectual.
(b) Necessary.
(c) Saint.
(d) Fraud.

10. What is the contemporary invention that Mencken likes most?
(a) Elevator.
(b) Telephone.
(c) Thermostat.
(d) Radio.

11. What point does Mencken make in his discussion of Darwinian evolution?
(a) Evolution is an unbelievably slow process.
(b) Progress among humans often moves too fast.
(c) Evolution is unable to explain most of human behavior.
(d) Evolution proves that religion is a farce.

12. Who did the Black Plague mostly kill off, according to Mencken?
(a) Monarchs of low intelligence.
(b) Proletarians of low intelligence.
(c) Proletarians of high intelligence.
(d) Monarchs of high intelligence.

13. What central critique does Mencken have for teachers of his day?
(a) They are overpaid and underworked.
(b) They are given entirely too much respect in society.
(c) They simply teach, and leave it to students to figure out the lesson.
(d) They too often making learning an automatic process.

14. Why was the centenary of the Viennese Waltz not celebrated in America, according to Mencken?
(a) It is too slow for Americans with short attention spans.
(b) Its melody is too sophisticated for Americans.
(c) No one dances the waltz in America.
(d) It is a joyous waltz, and joy was banned with Prohibition.

15. What was Mencken's opinion of New Deal programs?
(a) They imbued average Americans with a rugged individual spirit.
(b) They were disastrous in practice.
(c) They were theoretically dubious, but worked okay in practice.
(d) They were great boons to mankind.

Short Answer Questions

1. In "Utopian Flights," how does Mencken believe legislators should be chosen?

2. According to Mencken, how will "anyone who appreciates aural beauty" regard opera?

3. What is Mencken's central critique for socialism?

4. Why does Mencken believe life on other planets is highly unlikely?

5. Which is NOT one of the features of the typical school day, as envisioned by Mencken?

(see the answer keys)

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