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 period in history does Mencken refer to as "New Deal No. 1"?
(a) Britain in the 1910s.
(b) France in the 1840s.
(c) North Africa in the 1900s.
(d) America in the 1770s.

2. What kind of sense of right and wrong do children have?
(a) Children are born with a sense of right and wrong, which is then corrupted by society.
(b) Children are born with a sense of right and wrong, and they carry this into adulthood.
(c) Children are born without a sense of right and wrong, and society imposes this sense upon them.
(d) Children are born without a sense of right and wrong, but they develop it without society's interference.

3. What is the consequence of someone believing in God, according to Mencken in Chapter 1?
(a) That person must pray on a daily basis.
(b) That person must ascribe all of Man's faults to God as well.
(c) That person must make offerings to his or her God.
(d) That person must be prepared to suffer eternal damnation for believing in the wrong god.

4. What kind of promises do politicians make?
(a) Ones they have no intention of fulfilling.
(b) Ones they can fulfill.
(c) Ones they have polled voters about.
(d) Ones they cannot deliver.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Mencken see as the problem with contemporary Protestantism?

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

3. What comparison does Mencken make between man and animal in Chapter 1?

4. What is Mencken's opinion of the American South?

5. What is the "altruist" motivated by?

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. 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?

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

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

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

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

8. What effect did the Civil War have on the American South, and why was this conflict so disastrous to Mencken from a cultural standpoint?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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