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

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

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

4. 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 the temperate, invulnerable man ever give in to the sins of alcohol?
(c) Does a woman of considerable means ever want for a man of inconsiderable means?
(d) Does a man of moderate means never aspire to great wealth?

5. What one thing did Mencken feel was useful from the contributions of Sigmund Freud?
(a) The notion that "mother issues" were deeply-seated.
(b) The notion that people could be easily hypnotized.
(c) The notion that lying stemmed from an unconscious place.
(d) The notion that dreams could reveal aspects of our everyday lives.

6. Which is NOT one of the reasons winters were difficult in 1880s Baltimore?
(a) Snow caused many roofs to cave in.
(b) The cold was severe, and furnaces did not help much.
(c) Cellars could flood.
(d) Water pipes could burst.

7. Which boat captain helped Mencken while in Cuba?
(a) Ignacio.
(b) Menocal.
(c) Leonhard.
(d) Demetrio.

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

9. What must modern religions do to "escape absurdity"?
(a) They should encourage a much more relaxed church service.
(b) They must allow gay marriage.
(c) They should accept a small element of agnosticism.
(d) They must disband immediately.

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

11. Which war was General John Pershing most famously involved in?
(a) World War I.
(b) The War of the Roses.
(c) World War II.
(d) The Civil War.

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

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

14. What part of Mencken's work is NOT included in the volume?
(a) Mencken's esoteric views on art and art history.
(b) Mencken's nostalgic musings on Baltimore.
(c) Mencken's work on language and grammar.
(d) Mencken's political discourse of the 1920s.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Who presided over the Republican Convention of 1920?

3. In which city did Mencken grow up?

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

5. Why do "handsome men" deserve suspicion?

(see the answer keys)

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