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. What was Mencken's criticism for Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?
(a) It was full of racist remarks and innuendo.
(b) It was more poetry than logic.
(c) It was more about logistics and policy than stirring rhetoric.
(d) It was a slap in the face to Southern Democrats.

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

3. Which was one of Mencken's criticisms for Woodrow Wilson?
(a) He had the gall to pardon Eugene Debs.
(b) He took the presidential office by voter fraud and corruption.
(c) He was stuffy and puritanical.
(d) He had "never looked a common man in the eye."

4. In what way did Mencken mock General John Pershing?
(a) Mencken brought to light the existence of Pershing's mistress.
(b) Mencken mocked Pershing for a recent bumbling speech.
(c) Mencken felt the vast amount of medals pinned to Pershing's uniform makes the man look ridiculous.
(d) Mencken made fun of a recent photograph of Pershing wrapped in an American flag.

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

6. What famous speech did Ralph Waldo Emerson deliver in 1837?
(a) The Merits of Monogamy.
(b) The Pride of European Intellectualism.
(c) The American Scholar.
(d) The Awfulness of War.

7. Charlie the policeman was charged with which task, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?
(a) Organizing the annual policeman's ball.
(b) Recruiting craftsmen to refurbish the jail.
(c) Investigating a serial pursesnatcher.
(d) Finding and arresting at least a dozen drunkards every shift.

8. In "The Baltimore of the Eighties," why does Mencken's mother lament about a trip to the market?
(a) The price of crabs had doubled.
(b) A pickpocket had stolen her purse.
(c) The vendors had started charging for roe.
(d) Mencken had stolen some penny candy.

9. Why shouldn't men trust other men?
(a) Men can be subject to temptation, and thus betrayal.
(b) Men can become violent at any moment.
(c) Men are only interested in accumulating wealth.
(d) Men lie constantly.

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

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

12. Which book was Mencken's touchstone into literature?
(a) Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.
(b) Thomas Paine's Common Sense.
(c) Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
(d) Alexander Dumas' The Three Musketeers.

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

14. Which man did Mencken dub the "Star-Spangled Man"?
(a) William Jennings Bryan.
(b) John Pershing.
(c) George Washington.
(d) Woodrow Wilson.

15. What kind of presence did Henry Cabot Lodge have, according to Mencken?
(a) Lodge swore often and told dirty jokes, shocking women.
(b) Lodge was meek and soft-voiced.
(c) Lodge was powerful and authoritative.
(d) Lodge was cantankerous and given to bickering.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which was NOT a source of loud noise in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?

2. What was the nature of the Prince of Wales story Mencken tells in "The Art Eternal"?

3. What did Mencken wonder about Henry Cabot Lodge?

4. What quotation did Mencken borrow from Theodore Dreiser in "Cavia Cobaya"?

5. How did Gene the magistrate handle an overzealous Methodist clergyman?

(see the answer keys)

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