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. Why is the culture of the United States deficient, according to Chapter 10?
(a) The U.S. lacks social programs for the poor.
(b) The U.S. lacks a civilized aristocracy.
(c) The U.S. lacks a sound monetary policy.
(d) The U.S. lacks a healthy skepticism for so-called artists.

2. Which politician does Mencken refer to as "a good man in a bad trade"?
(a) Grover Cleveland.
(b) Abraham Lincoln.
(c) William Jennings Bryan.
(d) George Washington.

3. Which is NOT one of Mencken's view of humankind as expressed in Chapter 1?
(a) Man is the center of the universe, and rightly so.
(b) Man is prone to believe in ridiculous things.
(c) Man is full of errors.
(d) Man is the product of random and meaningless processes.

4. New England owes much of its history to what group of people?
(a) Anti-Puritans.
(b) The Founding Fathers.
(c) Manhattan Indians.
(d) Delaware Indians.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is Mencken's belief about morality?

2. What is the subject of Chapter 7?

3. What is Mencken's hope for democracy?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

4. Summarize Mencken's appraisal of Abraham Lincoln.

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

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

7. 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?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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