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. According to "The Skeptic," what do women always bear?
(a) A strong sense of household finances.
(b) A healthy mistrust of their husbands.
(c) The burden of caring for families.
(d) The strength of their religious convictions.

2. In "Pater Patriae," which was NOT one of the reasons Mencken admired George Washington?
(a) He could cuss up a storm.
(b) He put his trust and authority in intellectuals and lawyers.
(c) He was tough-living, and whiskey-drinking.
(d) He was not convinced of the wisdom of common people.

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

4. In "The Good Man," what general statement did Mencken make about mankind?
(a) Men are gluttonous, and must continually fight the urge to eat.
(b) Men are good and kind, and almost always do the right thing.
(c) Man is not perfect, and any strengths are balanced by flaws.
(d) Men are not predisposed to appreciate art, and often must be forced.

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

6. Why does the typical man have a poor conception of beauty?
(a) Even mirrors are manufactured to lie about a woman's beauty.
(b) Even a man's enemy will tell him his wife is pretty.
(c) Make-up is made with a chemical that confuses the brain.
(d) The entire world, with very few exceptions, is hideously ugly.

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

8. According to "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw," what is a woman's only power?
(a) The power to torture a man through love.
(b) The power to ruin a man's life with divorce.
(c) The power of a house's pursestrings.
(d) The power over her children.

9. Which was NOT a source of loud noise in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?
(a) Penny candy vendors hawking their candy.
(b) Children singing and yelling in the streets.
(c) Barking dogs.
(d) Iron tires hitting hard cobblestone streets.

10. What was the name of H. L. Mencken's brother?
(a) Charlie.
(b) Mitch.
(c) Bud.
(d) Jesse.

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

12. What dominated Puritanism, according to Mencken in "The National Letters"?
(a) The simple necessities of food, clothing, and shelter.
(b) Religious tomfoolery.
(c) Fear, and the suspicion of art.
(d) Free-thinking men of purpose.

13. What did Mencken think about Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation?
(a) Lincoln was tricked into issuing the proclamation by business interests.
(b) Lincoln issued the proclamation in a desperate and emotionally-troubled state.
(c) Lincoln was doing the bidding of "Black Republicans" by releasing the proclamation.
(d) Lincoln delayed releasing the proclamation until a politically-favorable time.

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

15. What human flaw does democracy depend upon, according to Mencken?
(a) Envy.
(b) Greed.
(c) Vanity.
(d) Rage.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which book was Mencken's touchstone into literature?

2. Which of the following could NOT be used to describe Mencken's tone in "Star-Spangled Man"?

3. What was Mencken's criticism for Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?

4. Who was the president of Cuba when Mencken visited the country in "Gore in the Caribees"?

5. What did Mencken satirize in "Quid Est Veritas"?

(see the answer keys)

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