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

2. What moral choice faced Mencken and a cop on New Year's Day, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?
(a) A man clearly beat his wife, but could not be technically arrested.
(b) A prostitute bribed the policeman.
(c) A dead man was found with a large sum of money in his pocket.
(d) They learned about a corrupt policeman, and had to decide whether to turn the man in.

3. What does Mencken call a man who resists the charms of women?
(a) A most distinguished gentleman.
(b) An exceedingly wise stone statue.
(c) A most disgusting cad.
(d) A most rare beast indeed.

4. What criticism did Dr. William Bayard Hale have for Woodrow Wilson?
(a) Wilson had the gall to pardon Eugene Debs.
(b) Wilson was more interested in tea parties and social functions than policy discussions.
(c) His rhetoric was lofty, but ultimately empty of substance.
(d) As an orator, Wilson was dull, and focuses too much on foreign policy.

5. Why do the majority of people lie, according to Mencken?
(a) They are unhappy with their lot in life.
(b) They lie for fame.
(c) They lie for profit.
(d) They are fearful of being arrested.

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

7. Mencken provided what colorful phrase to describe a woman's body?
(a) An hourglass of horrors.
(b) A star-spangled mess.
(c) A drunken dollar-mark.
(d) A slap-happy seal.

8. How was Theodore Dreiser like Joseph Conrad, according to Mencken?
(a) They both had a love of pirate adventures and the sea life.
(b) Both men shared an innate pessimism.
(c) Both men were inherently optimistic.
(d) They both seemed to hate women.

9. Who was the president of Cuba when Mencken visited the country in "Gore in the Caribees"?
(a) Leonhard.
(b) Menocal.
(c) Jose Miguel.
(d) Teodorio.

10. In "Gore in the Caribees," what was Mencken's perspective on the revolution in Cuba?
(a) Mencken thought the event is not newsworthy, and only reluctantly does he travel to cover it.
(b) Mencken was fervently pro-Cuba, and travels to the country to engage in propaganda.
(c) Mencken refused to cover the event, and is fired by his newspaper.
(d) Mencken thought it is newsworthy, and he asks to cover it.

11. Why did Mencken disagree with contemporary assessments of Abraham Lincoln?
(a) Mencken believed a much broader conspiracy was in place in regards to Lincoln's assassination.
(b) Abraham Lincoln did not get nearly enough credit for freeing the slaves, according to Mencken.
(c) Critics praised him as a hero and don't question some dubious sections of his biography.
(d) Critics maligned Lincoln for his handling of the Civil War, and Mencken thinks he did a fine job.

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

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

14. What quotation did Mencken borrow from Theodore Dreiser in "Cavia Cobaya"?
(a) Does a woman of considerable means ever want for a man of inconsiderable means?
(b) Does the average strong, successful man confine himself to one woman?
(c) Does the temperate, invulnerable man ever give in to the sins of alcohol?
(d) Does a man of moderate means never aspire to great wealth?

15. Which was NOT one of the reasons why a Christian wouldn't man cheat on his wife, according to "The Libertine"?
(a) He was too fatigued by all the Christian rules he must follow.
(b) He didn't have the courage.
(c) He didn't have the money to support a mistress.
(d) He had a conscience to tell him no.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why shouldn't men trust other men?

2. What does Mencken state about the literary influence(s) of Theodore Dreiser?

3. What did Mencken wonder about Henry Cabot Lodge?

4. What did Mencken, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, feel about the tradition of giving medals in the military?

5. Which was described as Mencken's earliest memory?

(see the answer keys)

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