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. Which is NOT one of the benefits Mencken sees should America put into place his ideas in "Utopian Flights"?
(a) Reduction of election costs.
(b) Insertion of people who believe public service is a chore.
(c) Elimination of political campaigns.
(d) The election of people who actually want to be legislators.

2. What do men become once they accumulate wealth?
(a) Stupider.
(b) More amorous.
(c) Stingier.
(d) Nicer.

3. Which is NOT one of the qualities of rich people, as described by Mencken?
(a) Many buy public esteem.
(b) They buy boring, unoriginal assets.
(c) They engage in exciting, risky ventures.
(d) They are largely swindlers.

4. What unusual stance does Mencken take in regards to disease?
(a) Religion is sufficient to address disease.
(b) Diseases should not be treated with medicine.
(c) Some diseases actually improve lives.
(d) All diseases are beneficial, as they help to thin human populations.

5. For Mencken, what is the nature of the range of the central psychological spectrum upon which all humans reside?
(a) From slave mentality to free mentality.
(b) From introvert to extrovert.
(c) From calm to paranoid.
(d) From cold to romantic.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mencken reports on a boxing with which famed boxer?

2. Who wrote the Viennese Waltz?

3. What is Mencken's central critique for socialism?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

5. In "Utopian Flights," how does Mencken suggest that legislators be chosen? What benefits would this method have, in his opinion?

6. What opinion does Mencken render about a) Mary Baker G. Eddy and Christian Science, and b) the doctrine of theosophy?

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

8. 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?

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

10. In an editorial dated October, 1928, Mencken discusses schoolboys. Summarize this article. What suggestions does Mencken have for improving education?

(see the answer keys)

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