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. Why did Mencken disagree with contemporary assessments of Abraham Lincoln?
(a) Critics maligned Lincoln for his handling of the Civil War, and Mencken thinks he did a fine job.
(b) Critics praised him as a hero and don't question some dubious sections of his biography.
(c) Abraham Lincoln did not get nearly enough credit for freeing the slaves, according to Mencken.
(d) Mencken believed a much broader conspiracy was in place in regards to Lincoln's assassination.

2. Which was NOT a source of loud noise in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?
(a) Penny candy vendors hawking their candy.
(b) Children singing and yelling in the streets.
(c) Iron tires hitting hard cobblestone streets.
(d) Barking dogs.

3. What did Mencken think about Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation?
(a) Lincoln delayed releasing the proclamation until a politically-favorable time.
(b) Lincoln was doing the bidding of "Black Republicans" by releasing the proclamation.
(c) Lincoln issued the proclamation in a desperate and emotionally-troubled state.
(d) Lincoln was tricked into issuing the proclamation by business interests.

4. According to "Text for Newspaper Days," what is modern journalism missing?
(a) A carefree nature.
(b) Proper attention to art and art history.
(c) Proper fact checking.
(d) Multiple points of view.

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

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

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

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

9. What dominated Puritanism, according to Mencken in "The National Letters"?
(a) Free-thinking men of purpose.
(b) The simple necessities of food, clothing, and shelter.
(c) Religious tomfoolery.
(d) Fear, and the suspicion of art.

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

11. What profession should the truth-teller NOT aspire to, according to Mencken?
(a) A bartender.
(b) Owner of a large company.
(c) The President of the United States.
(d) A jewelry maker.

12. What quotation did Mencken borrow from Theodore Dreiser in "Cavia Cobaya"?
(a) Does a woman of considerable means ever want for a man of inconsiderable means?
(b) Does the average strong, successful man confine himself to one woman?
(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?

13. What is democracy's "aim," according to Mencken?
(a) To ensure great wealth for all.
(b) To protect the children of a society.
(c) To pull everyone down to the same level.
(d) To indoctrinate everyone in religious "poppycock."

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

15. According to Mencken, the intellectual tradition of Whitman and Emerson had been transferred to which man?
(a) William Jennings Bryan.
(b) Theodore Dreiser.
(c) Van Wyck Brooks.
(d) Jose Miguel Gomez.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was "The Art Eternal" according to Mencken?

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

3. What must modern religions do to "escape absurdity"?

4. What organization did Mencken's father force him to join at age fourteen?

5. Which boat captain helped Mencken while in Cuba?

(see the answer keys)

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