A Mencken Chrestomathy Test | Final 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. What quality makes for the best literary critic, according to Chapter 24?

2. Where did Mencken meet Sister Aimee?

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

4. According to Mencken, how will "anyone who appreciates aural beauty" regard opera?

5. According to Chapter 16, which political system is responsible for the majority of civilization as we know it?

Short Essay Questions

1. Summarize Mencken's account of a Jack Dempsey boxing match.

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

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

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

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

6. What is Mencken's belief about American millionaires?

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

8. Why does Mencken make mention of Charles Joseph Bonaparte? Who was Bonaparte, and what was Mencken's opinion of him?

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

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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast Mencken's view of the American South, pre-Civil War versus post-Civil War. Include defining characteristics, form of government, qualities of people, culture, wealth, and anything else you feel is relevant to the discussion.

Essay Topic 2

Chapter 17 is titled "Pedagogy".

1) Summarize Mencken's view of the teaching profession.

2) How does Mencken compare and contrast the teaching methods of yesteryear with contemporary methods?

3) What is the contemporary state of schoolboys? Why do they suffer?

4) What suggestions does Mencken have for improving education?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapters 5 and 6, Mencken discusses morality, and crime and punishment, respectively.

1) Discuss Mencken's belief about the origin of morality, and how it evolved. Can morality change, or is it static?

2) Discuss Mencken's thoughts about Christian morality in general.

3) Discuss Mencken's opinion of contemporary forms of punishment for committed crimes. What is the role of punishment?

(see the answer keys)

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