A Mencken Chrestomathy Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is Mencken's opinion of the belief that man has a soul, according to Chapter 1?
(a) The notion of a soul is simple, but still very relevant today.
(b) The notion of a soul has led to unprecedented successes in philosophy and elsewhere.
(c) The notion of a soul has failed to result in more people acting like God.
(d) The notion of a soul is humanity's one bright spot.

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

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. In "female novels," how are males portrayed according to Mencken?

3. What aspect of human nature fuels the democratic system of government?

4. What is Mencken's belief about the concept of sin?

5. What is Mencken's opinion about the variety of political systems?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Chapter 1, how does Mencken's view of humanity coincide with that of the modern scientist?

2. What does Mencken believe about the nature of man and God? What is the consequence for believing in God? What about the soul?

3. What is Mencken's view of punishment for crime? What is the function of punishment?

4. Is morality necessary in Mencken's view? How many people are moral people? Is there a good and evil, or is that a human-created concept?

5. Describe Mencken's thought experiment, in which he imagines if the Confederacy had won the Civil War.

6. What does Mencken feel about the relationship between science and religion?

7. What does Mencken have to say about politicians? What kind of people are they? How do they operate?

8. What is the degree of women's "civility" according to Mencken? How does emotion factor in to civility?

9. Per Chapter 2, describe Mencken's summation of the following types of people: the romantic, the believer, the metaphysician, and the altruist.

10. Name four historic events Mencken mentions in Chapter 12, and his opinion of them.

(see the answer keys)

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