The Vintage Mencken Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Which of the following could NOT be used to describe Mencken's tone in "Star-Spangled Man"?
(a) Tongue-in-cheek.
(b) Sarcastic.
(c) Sentimental.
(d) Hyperbolic.

2. Which was NOT a source of terrible smell in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?
(a) The St. Helen's insane asylum.
(b) The glue factory.
(c) Wilkins Hair Factory.
(d) The Back Basin.

3. What was "The Art Eternal" according to Mencken?
(a) Prostitution.
(b) Portrait painting.
(c) Lying.
(d) Literature.

4. How did Gene the magistrate handle an overzealous Methodist clergyman?
(a) Gene ruled that religion was essential to the functioning of a democracy.
(b) Gene created trumped-up charges to render him no longer a problem.
(c) Gene ruled that the clergyman was within his rights to practice in the Jewish ghetto.
(d) Gene had policemen follow the clergyman wherever he went.

5. Which war was General John Pershing most famously involved in?
(a) The Civil War.
(b) World War II.
(c) The War of the Roses.
(d) World War I.

6. In "The National Letters," what was the cause of all the "diseases" which afflict America?
(a) Organized religion.
(b) The lack of a stable aristocracy.
(c) The presumption of guilt, rather than innocence, in legal matters.
(d) The lack of a proper diet.

7. Why was Theodore Dreiser compared to Franz Schubert by Mencken?
(a) Dreiser and Schubert didn't know the theory of their arts, but nonetheless they produce valuable work.
(b) Dreiser and Schubert both created work that is "lighter than air."
(c) Dreiser and Schubert exhibited an uncommon and sometimes perverse imagination.
(d) Dreiser and Schubert used whimsy, irony, and a sense of silliness.

8. What did Mencken feel about "American thinking"?
(a) It is bold and visionary.
(b) It is timid and superficial.
(c) It is cautious, yet optimistic.
(d) It is full of awesome promise.

9. Who is the editor of this volume?
(a) Alfred Knopf.
(b) Alistair Cooke.
(c) William Jennings Bryan.
(d) H. L. Mencken.

10. In "Gore in the Caribees," how was Jose Miguel captured?
(a) He was caught sleeping in a hammock.
(b) He was captured after a fierce battle in which he showed his courage.
(c) Jose Miguel was caught in bed with a prostitute.
(d) Jose Miguel was caught while making a terrorist bomb.

11. According to Mencken, what was the Union fighting for in the Civil War?
(a) Profit.
(b) Against the notion of self-determinism.
(c) Self-governance.
(d) Freedom.

12. What was Theodore Dreiser's national and ethnic background?
(a) German.
(b) American.
(c) Swedish.
(d) French.

13. Which boat captain helped Mencken while in Cuba?
(a) Ignacio.
(b) Menocal.
(c) Demetrio.
(d) Leonhard.

14. Why do "handsome men" deserve suspicion?
(a) The human body is inherently ugly.
(b) They are always self-serving and vain.
(c) They are "ugly" inside.
(d) They are terrible conversationalists.

15. According to "Quid Est Veritas?," what kind of religion professes to know God exactly and completely?
(a) Admirable religions.
(b) Primitive religions.
(c) Perfect religions.
(d) American religions.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to the editor, why were the 1930s Mencken's "downfall"?

2. Which was NOT a feature of the ideal aristocracy, according to Mencken?

3. Which is one of the stated reasons the editor put the volume together?

4. What is a man's usual response to beauty?

5. What did Mencken think about Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation?

(see the answer keys)

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