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. Who does Mencken call "the national ideal of a literary character"?
(a) Joseph Conrad.
(b) Ring Lardner.
(c) William Dean Howells.
(d) Ambrose Bierce.

2. Which classical composer could not "write for the mob"?
(a) Strauss.
(b) Beethoven.
(c) Schubert.
(d) Brahms.

3. What is the usual relationship between an artist and his countrymen?
(a) The artist works for the community.
(b) The artist is at odds with his community.
(c) The artist has no relationship to his community.
(d) The artist is in perfect harmony with the community.

4. What is Mencken's opinion of the telephone?
(a) They are necessary, and have greatly benefited mankind.
(b) They are unnecessary and harmful.
(c) They are necessary, but they have caused more harm than good.
(d) They are unnecessary, but are fun to play around with.

5. How do rich people "buy public esteem" according to Mencken?
(a) They buy newspaper ads praising themselves.
(b) They are especially generous to panhandlers.
(c) They donate to charities and to the arts.
(d) They make generous contributions to political campaigns.

Short Answer Questions

1. A man's taste in poetry is a reflection of what?

2. Why was the centenary of the Viennese Waltz not celebrated in America, according to Mencken?

3. What is Mencken's view of chiropractors?

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

5. What is Mencken's view of contemporary psychological science?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. In Chapter 19, Mencken discusses science. Discuss his views of a) the scientific hypothesis, b) Charles Darwin, and c) Mr. Ayres' and his philosophy.

3. How does Mencken compare socialism to capitalism? Include the Bolshevik Revolution in your response.

4. What does Mencken believe about chiropractors?

5. Describe the following under the category of what Mencken calls "'The Lesser Arts": a) oil painting, b) drama.

6. Summarize Mencken's views on William Dean Howells.

7. What should poetry ideally be, according to Mencken? What makes for a good poem? And how does taste in poetry reflect upon a person's qualities?

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 a) Mary Baker G. Eddy and Christian Science, and b) the doctrine of theosophy?

10. What does Mencken feel is the contemporary state of psychology? How does he feel about Freudianism?

(see the answer keys)

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