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

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

3. 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.

4. In "Gore in the Caribees," how was Jose Miguel captured?
(a) He was captured after a fierce battle in which he showed his courage.
(b) Jose Miguel was caught in bed with a prostitute.
(c) Jose Miguel was caught while making a terrorist bomb.
(d) He was caught sleeping in a hammock.

5. Which of the following could NOT be used to describe Mencken's tone in "Star-Spangled Man"?
(a) Hyperbolic.
(b) Tongue-in-cheek.
(c) Sarcastic.
(d) Sentimental.

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

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

8. Why do "handsome men" deserve suspicion?
(a) The human body is inherently ugly.
(b) They are terrible conversationalists.
(c) They are "ugly" inside.
(d) They are always self-serving and vain.

9. In "Gore in the Caribees," what was Mencken's perspective on the revolution in Cuba?
(a) Mencken thought it is newsworthy, and he asks to cover it.
(b) Mencken thought the event is not newsworthy, and only reluctantly does he travel to cover it.
(c) Mencken was fervently pro-Cuba, and travels to the country to engage in propaganda.
(d) Mencken refused to cover the event, and is fired by his newspaper.

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

11. What does Mencken call a man who resists the charms of women?
(a) An exceedingly wise stone statue.
(b) A most rare beast indeed.
(c) A most disgusting cad.
(d) A most distinguished gentleman.

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

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

14. What did Mencken wonder about Henry Cabot Lodge?
(a) Why he thought he was so superior to everyone.
(b) Why he did not pick a more noble profession.
(c) Why he did not run for president.
(d) Why he felt he must belittle everyone around him.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. According to "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw," what is a woman's only power?

3. What did Mencken think about Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation?

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

5. According to "Text for Newspaper Days," what is modern journalism missing?

(see the answer keys)

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