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. Who derives several advantages from marriage?
(a) Men and women equally.
(b) Only the state.
(c) Women only.
(d) Men only.

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

3. Why did England experience particular difficulties in World War I according to Mencken?
(a) It ignored the psychological aspect of warfare.
(b) It ran out of money.
(c) It made secret pacts it could not honor.
(d) It took the wrong side.

4. 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.

5. What kind of promises do politicians make?
(a) Ones they have polled voters about.
(b) Ones they can fulfill.
(c) Ones they have no intention of fulfilling.
(d) Ones they cannot deliver.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Mencken feel about the overall capacity for virtue in the human race?

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

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

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

5. What does Mencken believe about the concept of evil?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe Mencken's contention that democracy is a "self-limiting disease." What does he mean by that? Is there any good aspects to democracy?

3. 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?

4. Describe Mencken's conception of the Anglo-Saxon American. What are this person's flaws?

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

6. What effect did the Civil War have on the American South, and why was this conflict so disastrous to Mencken from a cultural standpoint?

7. What is Mencken's view of monogamy/marriage?

8. What is Mencken's view of romantic love?

9. What is the origin of morality according to Mencken?

10. Summarize Mencken's appraisal of Abraham Lincoln.

(see the answer keys)

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