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 organization did Mencken's father force him to join at age fourteen?
(a) The Baptist Church.
(b) The Boy Scouts of America.
(c) Y.M.C.A.
(d) The Junior Achievement League.

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

3. What aspect of man-woman relationships are the movies incorrect about, according to Mencken?
(a) Women always begin a romance; men are too cowardly.
(b) There is no such thing as romantic love.
(c) Handsome men are not sought after by women.
(d) Men don't like to date women younger than themselves.

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

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

6. In "Recollections of Notable Cops," why does Mencken find the idea of a police academy remarkable?
(a) Cops in Mencken's younger days were not educated.
(b) Academies usually teach useless skills; police academies teach useful skills.
(c) Mencken regards policemen as corrupt, vicious brutes.
(d) Mencken states that police academies are contrary to the ideals of democracy.

7. According to Mencken, what kind of books did Theodore Dreiser produce?
(a) Weighty, substantial tomes that one must concentrate on for a long time.
(b) Books more important as museum pieces than texts that should be read.
(c) Wheezing, moralizing diatribes.
(d) Breezy, summer-day reading.

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

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

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

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

12. What does Mencken state about the literary influence(s) of Theodore Dreiser?
(a) Dreiser was the product of Frank Norris.
(b) Dreiser was the product of Emile Zola.
(c) No one author can be pointed to as an influence.
(d) Dreiser draws upon the literary tradition of Germany.

13. 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 refused to cover the event, and is fired by his newspaper.
(c) Mencken thought it is newsworthy, and he asks to cover it.
(d) Mencken was fervently pro-Cuba, and travels to the country to engage in propaganda.

14. What was the subject of the first Mencken-written article that was ever published?
(a) A horse robbery.
(b) The gold standard.
(c) Political discontent in Europe.
(d) A high-society party.

15. What was the nature of the Prince of Wales story Mencken tells in "The Art Eternal"?
(a) The Prince of Wales framed a murderer he could not imprison by lawful means.
(b) The Prince of Wales stole in order to feed his citizens.
(c) The Prince of Wales lied in order to protect the virtues of a woman.
(d) The Prince of Wales begged for alms, in order to display his humility.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why do "handsome men" deserve suspicion?

2. What did Mencken wonder about Henry Cabot Lodge?

3. Who presided over the Republican Convention of 1920?

4. Why was Theodore Dreiser compared to Franz Schubert by Mencken?

5. What did Mencken think about monogamy, as revealed in "Cavia Cobaya"?

(see the answer keys)

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