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 chief problem with political theorists?
(a) They attempt to dignify the political order of their day.
(b) They are too antagonistic to the current political system.
(c) They have little sense of history.
(d) They hate politics in general.

2. What comparison does Mencken make between man and animal in Chapter 1?
(a) Man in every way has faculties that are superior to animals.
(b) Many animals have superior faculties to man.
(c) The faculties of animal and man precisely balance when taken as a whole.
(d) The only thing man cannot do that animal can is fly.

3. What "call" does Mencken make to America's poets in Chapter 7?
(a) He wishes them to burn all of their poems and drown themselves.
(b) He wishes them to speak upon the beauty of the female figure.
(c) He wishes them to write a funeral service for the damned.
(d) He wishes them to rewrite Ode to a Grecian Urn.

4. What does democracy ruin, according to Mencken?
(a) Individual greatness.
(b) Wealth.
(c) The means of production.
(d) Common sense.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Mencken's opinion of original Christians?

2. What is the purpose of monogamy, according to Mencken?

3. Before democracy came to be, what did people believe this system of government to be?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. 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?

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

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

6. What does Mencken believe about the nature of man and God? What is the consequence for believing in God? What about the soul?

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

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

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

10. Summarize Mencken's appraisal of Abraham Lincoln.

(see the answer keys)

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