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. A man's taste in poetry is a reflection of what?
(a) His love of life.
(b) His intelligence.
(c) His sense of romance.
(d) His inner cravings.

2. Which president did Charles Joseph Bonaparte work for?
(a) Theodore Roosevelt.
(b) Warren G. Harding.
(c) Grover Cleveland.
(d) Woodrow Wilson.

3. In the boxing match Mencken reports on in Chapter 23, why do most want the favorite boxer to lose?
(a) He had been accused of taking steroids.
(b) He had beaten his wife up the night before.
(c) He was drunk and hollering at the crowd.
(d) He had evaded service in World War I.

4. What point does Mencken make by bringing up an 84-year-old man he knew in Chapter 21?
(a) A man's innate constitution may determine longevity more than illness.
(b) Illness makes a person stronger.
(c) The older a person gets, the crankier they get.
(d) Age is nothing but a number.

5. In Chapter 15, Mencken expresses surprise that no one has violated the tomb of which man?
(a) Grover Cleveland.
(b) Charles Joseph Bonaparte.
(c) Oliver Wendell Holmes.
(d) George Washington.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Mencken identify as the founder of Christian Science?

2. What does Mencken say about the nature of scientific hypotheses?

3. What quality makes for the best literary critic, according to Chapter 24?

4. Who was the father of the American short story?

5. What central critique does Mencken have for teachers of his day?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Mencken believe about chiropractors?

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

4. What is Mencken's opinion of the teaching profession? How does he compare and contrast teaching styles of his schoolboy days to today?

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

6. What insight does Mencken provide about physical disease/illness?

7. Summarize Mencken's views on Mark Twain.

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

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

10. In Chapter 24, Mencken discusses art and literary criticism. How do critics influence artists? And what makes for the best kind of literary critics?

(see the answer keys)

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