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. Which is NOT one of Mencken's view of humankind as expressed in Chapter 1?
(a) Man is the product of random and meaningless processes.
(b) Man is full of errors.
(c) Man is the center of the universe, and rightly so.
(d) Man is prone to believe in ridiculous things.

2. Why is the "pretty man" hated?
(a) The pretty man is almost universally also very dumb.
(b) Women care less for beauty than men do.
(c) The pretty man reminds us of all of our own faults.
(d) Women are jealous of pretty men.

3. What does Mencken believe about the concept of evil?
(a) Evil is just another word for good; it's all relative.
(b) Evil is the reason why children are born.
(c) Evil is a made-up term, and does not really exist.
(d) Evil is real, and exists all around us.

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

5. What do most women think of their husbands according to Mencken?
(a) Women are indifferent to their husbands and use them as mere tools.
(b) Women fear and loathe their husbands.
(c) Women love and respect their husbands.
(d) Women pity their husbands and consider them asses.

Short Answer Questions

1. What or who rules the American South?

2. Which is NOT one of the qualities Mencken ascribes to William Jennings Bryan?

3. Who does Mencken dub "The Lady of Joy"?

4. What does Mencken believe about the universality of morality?

5. What kind of men has history been written by, to date?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Who is Professor Thorstein Veblen, and what is Mencken's opinion of him and his work?

3. Describe Mencken's opinion of George Washington. Why does Mencken admire him? Why doesn't Mencken believe Washington would do well in a contemporary political climate?

4. What does Mencken see as a popular misconception about death? What is his opinion of suicide?

5. What is democracy's fundamental flaw? What aspect of human nature motivates democracy?

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

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

8. What is the average person's opinion of government, according to Mencken?

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

10. Summarize Mencken's appraisal of Abraham Lincoln.

(see the answer keys)

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