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 do most women think of their husbands according to Mencken?
(a) Women fear and loathe their husbands.
(b) Women pity their husbands and consider them asses.
(c) Women love and respect their husbands.
(d) Women are indifferent to their husbands and use them as mere tools.

2. What does Mencken NOT believe about the possibility for morality to change over time?
(a) Morality was determined in ancient times, and has not changed.
(b) Different subsections of morality can grow over time.
(c) Morality evolves and grows over time.
(d) Morality can adopt new ideas, like Christian beliefs.

3. Which is NOT one of the reasons Mencken praises George Washington?
(a) He scorned foreign entanglements.
(b) He ignored the private morals of his neighbors.
(c) He enjoyed whiskey.
(d) He was a pious man.

4. What is Mencken's hope for democracy?
(a) Mencken has absolutely no hope for democracy.
(b) It will finally deliver much-needed assistance to the poor.
(c) It is a self-limiting disease.
(d) It may lead to monarchy someday.

5. Privately, politicians are what kind of people?
(a) Criminals.
(b) Lying wretches.
(c) Charming individuals.
(d) Exceedingly eccentric.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. How does Mencken describe President Coolidge?

3. What is the relationship between Anglo-Saxons and civilization?

4. Why is Mencken unable to embrace democratic political theory, as he himself states it in Chapter 9?

5. What kind of men has history been written by, to date?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. In Chapter 1, how does Mencken's view of humanity coincide with that of the modern scientist?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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