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 does the "metaphysical" type of person inevitably do?
(a) Tips their hat for no reason.
(b) Becomes paralyzed with fear over the enormity of the universe.
(c) Begs for spare change.
(d) Demands to know what you mean, even when it is obvious.

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

3. What is Mencken's assessment of Abraham Lincoln?
(a) He was a hard-living chauvinist dinosaur.
(b) He was a bumbler and not fit for office.
(c) He was a practical politician of great talent and rhetoric.
(d) He was an out-and-out racist.

4. Privately, politicians are what kind of people?
(a) Lying wretches.
(b) Exceedingly eccentric.
(c) Charming individuals.
(d) Criminals.

5. What is Mencken's belief about morality?
(a) Morality is reserved only for the aristocracy.
(b) Morality is unnecessary.
(c) Morality is a made-up concept that doesn't exist.
(d) Morality is necessary.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did England experience particular difficulties in World War I according to Mencken?

2. What is the "altruist" motivated by?

3. Why does Mencken admire John D. Rockefeller?

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

5. What is Mencken's opinion of the belief that man has a soul, according to Chapter 1?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. In Chapter 1, what comparison does Mencken make between man and animal? Who is "superior"?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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