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 the purpose of monogamy, according to Mencken?
(a) Marriage serves to enhance and legitimize passion.
(b) Marriage serves to protect society from itself.
(c) Marriage serves to kill and restrain passion.
(d) Marriage serves to emphasize romantic love.

2. Which is NOT one of the reasons Mencken praises George Washington?
(a) He enjoyed whiskey.
(b) He was a pious man.
(c) He ignored the private morals of his neighbors.
(d) He scorned foreign entanglements.

3. Why does Mencken admire John D. Rockefeller?
(a) For his research foundations.
(b) For his political acumen.
(c) For his larger-than-life lifestyle.
(d) For his business prowess.

4. What effect has intermarriage had on the American South?
(a) It has infused the American South with the very best qualities of Western Europe.
(b) It has negatively blurred the lines between high class and low class.
(c) It has introduced culture such as art and literature into the American South.
(d) It has positively blurred the lines between high class and low class.

5. What is the proper function of punishment for crimes?
(a) To create a sense of false dignity in society.
(b) As a mere incentivizing device.
(c) As a deterrent only.
(d) As a deterrent, but also more.

Short Answer Questions

1. Punishment for crime is too often what, according to Mencken?

2. What period in history does Mencken refer to as "New Deal No. 1"?

3. Why is the culture of the United States deficient, according to Chapter 10?

4. Why is the "pretty man" hated?

5. What is Mencken's opinion of original Christians?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What is Mencken's opinion of the contemporary American South? What are its features? What rules the South?

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

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

7. Summarize Mencken's appraisal of Abraham Lincoln.

8. What is Mencken's take on the universality of morality? Can morality grow and change, or is it static?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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