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

2. What kind of men does a democracy produce?
(a) Stupid men who can barely master the multiplication tables.
(b) Noble, confident men who do not envy others.
(c) Energetic men with too much time on their hands.
(d) Depressing men full of nostalgia.

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

4. In Chapter 7, Mencken notes that there are too few books written about what subject?
(a) Women.
(b) True crime.
(c) Death.
(d) Taxes.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Which Southern state does Mencken particularly mourn in his obituary on the American South?

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

4. What kind of people are most often forgotten by historical records, per Chapter 12?

5. What is Mencken's belief about the concept of sin?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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