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. Which politician does Mencken refer to as "a good man in a bad trade"?
(a) Grover Cleveland.
(b) William Jennings Bryan.
(c) George Washington.
(d) Abraham Lincoln.

2. What is the relationship between Anglo-Saxons and civilization?
(a) Anglo-Saxons choose to live outside civilization because they are morally superior.
(b) Anglo-Saxons are the most civilized of all white people.
(c) Anglo-Saxons are the least civilized of all white people.
(d) Anglo-Saxons created civilization, and are its last bastion of hope.

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

4. What does the "believer" type of person inevitably do?
(a) Maintains a faith in the improbable.
(b) Betrays friends as well as lovers.
(c) Annoys the company he or she is with.
(d) Thinks they are better than everyone.

5. At what event did Mencken first personally encounter William Jennings Bryan?
(a) The funeral of Grover Cleveland.
(b) Bryan's congressional trial for corruption.
(c) The 1912 Democratic National Convention.
(d) The Scopes Monkey trial.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Mencken dub "The Lady of Joy"?

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

3. New England owes much of its history to what group of people?

4. What does the "romantic" type of person inevitably do?

5. Privately, politicians are what kind of people?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Summarize Mencken's appraisal of Abraham Lincoln.

4. What is Mencken's opinion of government? What is the role of government? Is one system of government preferable to another?

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

6. 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?

7. Discuss Mencken's history of democracy. Before it arrived, what did people think of democracy? How was it conceived? How did it evolve?

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

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

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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