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 did Gene the magistrate do with respect to an old man in his court accused of wife beating?
(a) Gene applauded the man for keeping his wife well-behaved.
(b) Gene had the court bailiff beat the man, just as he had beat his wife.
(c) Gene threatened the man with made-up punishments to get him to reform.
(d) Gene put him in jail for two years.

2. Which was NOT a feature of the ideal aristocracy, according to Mencken?
(a) The presence of bold, free-thinking men.
(b) The ability to produce excellent art.
(c) The presence of a complex set of protocols and accepted behaviors.
(d) Intellectual superiority.

3. What did Mencken satirize in "Quid Est Veritas"?
(a) Those who insisted Latin was not a dead language.
(b) Aristocrats.
(c) Organized religion.
(d) Country doctors.

4. 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.

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

6. In which city did Mencken grow up?
(a) Pittsburgh.
(b) Washington, D.C.
(c) Cincinnati.
(d) Baltimore.

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

8. What was Mencken's nickname for Chesapeake Bay?
(a) Crab central.
(b) The protein factory.
(c) Home of the yummy lobsters.
(d) The big blue.

9. Which was described as Mencken's earliest memory?
(a) Swatting flies with his brother in the kitchen.
(b) Getting bitten by a snake.
(c) Watching a carnival of the Order of Orioles.
(d) Attending a speech of William Jennings Bryan.

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

11. What, according to Mencken, is "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw"?
(a) War.
(b) A great work of art.
(c) The horrible smells of Baltimore in the 1880s.
(d) The allure of a woman.

12. According to Mencken, what was Christianity's history with lying?
(a) Every sermon uttered by a priest is a lie.
(b) One must lie to oneself in order to adhere to religious beliefs.
(c) Lying is not expressly forbidden, and is oftentimes even encouraged.
(d) Lying is a great sin before God.

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Charlie the policeman was charged with which task, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?

2. Which was one of Mencken's criticisms for Woodrow Wilson?

3. What was the subject of the first Mencken-written article that was ever published?

4. What cheeky nickname did Mencken give Theodore Dreiser?

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

(see the answer keys)

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