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 democracy ruin, according to Mencken?
(a) Individual greatness.
(b) Common sense.
(c) The means of production.
(d) Wealth.

2. Mencken sees that too often any discussion of suicide is rooted in what incorrect notion?
(a) The family would suffer in a suicide.
(b) Death is painful.
(c) Death is painless.
(d) Killing oneself is an expensive proposition.

3. What is Mencken's opinion of original Christians?
(a) The historical record is so poor that Mencken cannot form an opinion.
(b) They were "men's men" and should be looked upon as examples.
(c) They were vulgar cads without imagination.
(d) They were patriots, akin to the Founding Fathers.

4. In "female novels," how are males portrayed according to Mencken?
(a) As "boobs."
(b) As "heartthrobs."
(c) As "charlatans."
(d) As "he-men."

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Which is NOT one of the features Mencken imagines for the Confederacy, had it survived the Civil War?

2. Why might "reflective and skeptical men" refrain from suicide?

3. What is Mencken's belief about morality?

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

5. At what event did Mencken first personally encounter William Jennings Bryan?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Summarize Mencken's appraisal of William Jennings Bryan. How is Mencken's opinion related to the Scopes Monkey Trial?

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

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

9. 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?

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

(see the answer keys)

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