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 purpose of monogamy, according to Mencken?
(a) Marriage serves to enhance and legitimize passion.
(b) Marriage serves to protect society from itself.
(c) Marriage serves to emphasize romantic love.
(d) Marriage serves to kill and restrain passion.

2. Why is Mencken unable to embrace democratic political theory, as he himself states it in Chapter 9?
(a) He is simply too cultured and sophisticated.
(b) He is morally superior to democrats.
(c) He is incapable of being envious of others.
(d) He is not poor, and so cannot see democracy's benefits.

3. What effect has intermarriage had on the American South?
(a) It has positively blurred the lines between high class and low class.
(b) It has introduced culture such as art and literature into the American South.
(c) It has infused the American South with the very best qualities of Western Europe.
(d) It has negatively blurred the lines between high class and low class.

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

5. Which is NOT one of the qualities of Anglo-Saxons Mencken points to in Chapter 10?
(a) Pure blooded.
(b) Self-congratulatory.
(c) Yearning to constantly improve.
(d) Rational and free of superstition.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What do most women think of their husbands according to Mencken?

3. What is Mencken's opinion about the variety of political systems?

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

5. What aspect of President Grant does Mencken admire?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Mencken's view of romantic love?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. 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?

10. What is democracy's fundamental flaw? What aspect of human nature motivates democracy?

(see the answer keys)

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