A Mencken Chrestomathy Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which is NOT one of the qualities of Anglo-Saxons Mencken points to in Chapter 10?

2. Why is the culture of the United States deficient, according to Chapter 10?

3. Mencken compares Theodore Roosevelt's political ideas to which other politician's?

4. What is the fundamental flaw of the democratic style of government?

5. What does democracy ruin, according to Mencken?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Mencken believe about the nature of man and God? What is the consequence for believing in God? What about the soul?

2. What does Mencken feel about the relationship between science and religion?

3. What is Mencken's view of punishment for crime? What is the function of punishment?

4. What is the average person's opinion of government, according to Mencken?

5. Describe Mencken's thought experiment, in which he imagines if the Confederacy had won the Civil War.

6. In Chapter 1, what comparison does Mencken make between man and animal? Who is "superior"?

7. What is Mencken's opinion of government? What is the role of government? Is one system of government preferable to another?

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

9. What does Mencken see as a popular misconception about death? What is his opinion of suicide?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe in-depth Mencken's views of the following people:

1) Abraham Lincoln

2) George Washington

3) Ulysses S. Grant

4) Theodore Roosevelt

5) Grover Cleveland

Essay Topic 2

Describe in-depth Mencken's views of the following people:

1) William Jennings Bryan

2) Woodrow Wilson

3) Warren G. Harding

4) Thorstein Veblen

5) Calvin Coolidge

6) Oliver Wendell Holmes

Essay Topic 3

Summarize Mencken's views on government, especially the democratic form of government. Include:

a) The average man's conception of government

b) The history and evolution of democracy as Mencken sees it

c) Why democracy is inherently flawed

d) The effects of democracy -- what it harms, what kind of people it produces

e) Mencken's prescription for an ideal form of government/leadership for the United States

(see the answer keys)

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