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

2. According to "Quid Est Veritas?," what kind of religion professes to know God exactly and completely?
(a) Admirable religions.
(b) American religions.
(c) Primitive religions.
(d) Perfect religions.

3. Which is one of the stated reasons the editor put the volume together?
(a) To introduce the works of H. L. Mencken to a new generation.
(b) To fight charges that Mencken was racist.
(c) To sell books for profit.
(d) To expose the corrupt policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

4. What quotation did Mencken borrow from Theodore Dreiser in "Cavia Cobaya"?
(a) Does the temperate, invulnerable man ever give in to the sins of alcohol?
(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 average strong, successful man confine himself to one woman?

5. What is a man's usual response to beauty?
(a) Romantic affection.
(b) Highly-violent behavior.
(c) Lust.
(d) Indifference.

6. Who was the president of Cuba when Mencken visited the country in "Gore in the Caribees"?
(a) Jose Miguel.
(b) Menocal.
(c) Teodorio.
(d) Leonhard.

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

8. What did Mencken think about Woodrow Wilson's biography of George Washington?
(a) It was poorly written and factually inaccurate.
(b) The biography had such a small print run as to be insignificant.
(c) He was relieved that someone finally showed George Washington for who he really was.
(d) "Woodrow Wilson couldn't shine George Washington's shoes."

9. What did Mencken, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, feel about the tradition of giving medals in the military?
(a) Medals should be given on a daily basis, because every day soldiers sacrifice.
(b) Medals should be given to common soldiers, and not just generals.
(c) Medals should be given only at the conclusion of career service.
(d) Medals should be reserved just for generals, as the "idea men" of the military.

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

11. In "The National Letters," what was the cause of all the "diseases" which afflict America?
(a) The presumption of guilt, rather than innocence, in legal matters.
(b) The lack of a proper diet.
(c) The lack of a stable aristocracy.
(d) Organized religion.

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

13. 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 exhibited an uncommon and sometimes perverse imagination.
(c) Dreiser and Schubert used whimsy, irony, and a sense of silliness.
(d) Dreiser and Schubert didn't know the theory of their arts, but nonetheless they produce valuable work.

14. What cheeky nickname did Mencken give Theodore Dreiser?
(a) The Clown Prince of prose.
(b) The Jack Ripper of the novel.
(c) The Frankenstein of the short story.
(d) The Hindenburg of the novel.

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. In "The Good Man," what general statement did Mencken make about mankind?

2. Which war was General John Pershing most famously involved in?

3. Which was NOT a source of terrible smell in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?

4. Which man did Mencken dub the "Star-Spangled Man"?

5. What was the subject of Walt Whitman's "Democratic Vistas"?

(see the answer keys)

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