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 "altruist" motivated by?
(a) A selfish sense of self-worth.
(b) Out and out greed.
(c) A divine inspiration.
(d) Being uncomfortable with unhappy people around him or her.

2. How did morality come to be, according to Mencken?
(a) Morality is a creation of the Christian church.
(b) Morality evolved from the innate sense of right and wrong in children.
(c) Morality evolved from social practices required to survive.
(d) Morality is the product of the woman's insidious influence over man.

3. Why is the culture of the United States deficient, according to Chapter 10?
(a) The U.S. lacks social programs for the poor.
(b) The U.S. lacks a civilized aristocracy.
(c) The U.S. lacks a healthy skepticism for so-called artists.
(d) The U.S. lacks a sound monetary policy.

4. Before democracy came to be, what did people believe this system of government to be?
(a) It was such a foreign concept, no one could really imagine it.
(b) A heavenly form of government.
(c) They believed democracy was just another form of dictatorship.
(d) A wretched form of government that should not come to pass.

5. What kind of men has history been written by, to date?
(a) Noble men of purpose.
(b) Men more interested in power than factual accuracy.
(c) The most intelligent men, and this is why history cannot be understood by most.
(d) Third-rate, inferior men.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mencken compares Theodore Roosevelt's political ideas to which other politician's?

2. Per Chapter 2, what kind of person has Mencken never met?

3. What is the purpose of monogamy, according to Mencken?

4. What is Man's one unique characteristic, per Chapter 1?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Mencken have to say about politicians? What kind of people are they? How do they operate?

3. Per Chapter 2, describe Mencken's summation of the following types of people: the romantic, the believer, the metaphysician, and the altruist.

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

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

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

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

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

9. Summarize Mencken's appraisal of Abraham Lincoln.

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

(see the answer keys)

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