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. How has Mencken organized his book?
(a) By author.
(b) By date.
(c) By length.
(d) By subject.

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

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did England experience particular difficulties in World War I according to Mencken?

2. What is the problem with trying to punishment a government for not working well?

3. What is the "altruist" motivated by?

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

5. How does Mencken characterize a woman's level of civility?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe Mencken's contention that democracy is a "self-limiting disease." What does he mean by that? Is there any good aspects to democracy?

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

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

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

5. 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?

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

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 the degree of women's "civility" according to Mencken? How does emotion factor in to civility?

9. What is Mencken's opinion of the contemporary American South? What are its features? What rules the South?

10. What is the average person's opinion of government, according to Mencken?

(see the answer keys)

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