|Name: _________________________||Period: ___________________|
This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. Why does Mencken praise doctors in Chapter 16?
2. What is Mencken's central critique for socialism?
3. What point does Mencken make by bringing up an 84-year-old man he knew in Chapter 21?
4. What was Roosevelt's team of political advisers popularly called?
5. How do rich people "buy public esteem" according to Mencken?
Short Essay Questions
1. What memorable position does Mencken take on opera?
2. What is Mencken's opinion of Prohibition? What was its effect on society?
3. What is Mencken's belief about American millionaires?
4. What does Mencken feel is the contemporary state of psychology? How does he feel about Freudianism?
5. Why does Mencken criticize the American Medical Association? What is his opinion of doctors as a professional class?
6. Summarize Mencken's account of the Scopes Monkey Trial and his impression of the town of Dayton, Tennessee.
7. Summarize Mencken's views on inspiration, as recounted in Chapter 25.
8. What does Mencken believe about chiropractors?
9. Summarize Mencken's account of a Jack Dempsey boxing match.
10. What opinion does Mencken render about the Black Plague that decimated Europe in the Middle Ages?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
1) Discuss Mencken's thoughts on death and suicide. What is the popular misconception of death? What is the use of suicide, and why might people refrain from committing it?
2) Discuss Mencken's thoughts on death and suicide in the context of a) his view of human nature in general, and b) his view on religion. How do these viewpoints inform one another?
Essay Topic 2
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
Essay Topic 3
Discuss the Chapter 29 "buffoonery" in which Mencken portrays a dialogue involving Pharoah Cheops.
1) Summarize the "plot" and premise of the story.
2) Discuss how the story relates to contemporary concerns.
3) Speculate as to why Mencken may have used Pharaoh Cheops and his world to comment on contemporary issues. What does Mencken accomplish by commentary designed in this fashion?
This section contains 1,000 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)