A Mencken Chrestomathy Test | Final 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. Writers "who cannot write" write in what style?
(a) Song lyrics.
(b) Dialogues.
(c) Poetry.
(d) Prose.

2. Who was the father of the American short story?
(a) Edgar Allan Poe.
(b) Ralph Waldo Emerson.
(c) Theodore Dreiser.
(d) Hamlin Garland.

3. What is NOT one of the qualities of being a teacher according to Mencken?
(a) Having no respect.
(b) Being underpaid.
(c) Wearing oneself out to achieve the impossible.
(d) Being able to breeze through lessons and cut corners.

4. What was Mencken's opinion of New Deal programs?
(a) They imbued average Americans with a rugged individual spirit.
(b) They were theoretically dubious, but worked okay in practice.
(c) They were great boons to mankind.
(d) They were disastrous in practice.

5. Why does the topic of "disease" give pathologists pause?
(a) Medicine largely does not know how to combat disease.
(b) It is difficult to deal with terminal cases.
(c) It is very hard to define.
(d) Pathologists are extremely underfunded.

Short Answer Questions

1. What kind of test does Mencken believe teachers should have to pass prior to teaching?

2. Why is music difficult as a trade?

3. Which is NOT one of the qualities of rich people, as described by Mencken?

4. Who does Mencken call the most romantic American author of the nineteenth century?

5. What point does Mencken make in his discussion of Darwinian evolution?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Mencken believe about chiropractors?

2. Summarize Mencken's views on inspiration, as recounted in Chapter 25.

3. Summarize Mencken's views on Mark Twain.

4. What does Mencken believe about contemporary new inventions? Mention the telephone as well as the thermostat in your response.

5. What is Mencken's own philosophy of psychology? What does he feel forms the basis of human psychology?

6. Why does Mencken criticize the American Medical Association? What is his opinion of doctors as a professional class?

7. What is Mencken's opinion of the music of Johann Strauss? Why wasn't Strauss' music more well-received in America?

8. Why does Mencken make mention of Sister Aimee? Who was Sister Aimee, and what was Mencken's opinion of her?

9. What opinion does Mencken render about the Black Plague that decimated Europe in the Middle Ages?

10. Summarize Mencken's account of the Scopes Monkey Trial and his impression of the town of Dayton, Tennessee.

(see the answer keys)

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