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. How did Gene the magistrate handle an overzealous Methodist clergyman?
(a) Gene ruled that religion was essential to the functioning of a democracy.
(b) Gene created trumped-up charges to render him no longer a problem.
(c) Gene had policemen follow the clergyman wherever he went.
(d) Gene ruled that the clergyman was within his rights to practice in the Jewish ghetto.

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

3. What criticism did Mencken have for the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation?
(a) It directly led to the Battle of Shiloh.
(b) It only freed specific slaves, and not all slaves.
(c) It freed slaves all at once, when it should have done it in a gradual way.
(d) It freed all slaves, when to preserve peace it should have freed only some.

4. Which was NOT one of the reasons why a Christian wouldn't man cheat on his wife, according to "The Libertine"?
(a) He didn't have the courage.
(b) He was too fatigued by all the Christian rules he must follow.
(c) He had a conscience to tell him no.
(d) He didn't have the money to support a mistress.

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

6. 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.

7. According to "The Skeptic," what do women always bear?
(a) The strength of their religious convictions.
(b) A healthy mistrust of their husbands.
(c) A strong sense of household finances.
(d) The burden of caring for families.

8. What stance can Mencken be said to have taken in "Star-Spangled Man"?
(a) Anti-war.
(b) Pro-life.
(c) Anti-establishment.
(d) Pro-gun.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Mencken think about Woodrow Wilson's biography of George Washington?

2. In "Pater Patriae," which was NOT one of the reasons Mencken admired George Washington?

3. How was Theodore Dreiser like Joseph Conrad, according to Mencken?

4. According to Mencken, what was the Union fighting for in the Civil War?

5. What did Mencken, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, feel about the tradition of giving medals in the military?

(see the answer keys)

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