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 was NOT a source of terrible smell in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?
(a) The glue factory.
(b) Wilkins Hair Factory.
(c) The Back Basin.
(d) The St. Helen's insane asylum.

2. According to Mencken, how did members of the lower class respond to Wilson?
(a) They were attracted to his lofty rhetoric.
(b) They responded to his lower class domestic policies.
(c) They threw rotten vegetables at him at the convention.
(d) They "clapped like fools" at a recent speech.

3. What organization did Mencken's father force him to join at age fourteen?
(a) The Baptist Church.
(b) The Junior Achievement League.
(c) The Boy Scouts of America.
(d) Y.M.C.A.

4. What moral choice faced Mencken and a cop on New Year's Day, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?
(a) A prostitute bribed the policeman.
(b) They learned about a corrupt policeman, and had to decide whether to turn the man in.
(c) A man clearly beat his wife, but could not be technically arrested.
(d) A dead man was found with a large sum of money in his pocket.

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

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

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

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

9. What, according to Mencken, is "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw"?
(a) The horrible smells of Baltimore in the 1880s.
(b) The allure of a woman.
(c) War.
(d) A great work of art.

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

11. In "Pater Patriae," which was NOT one of the reasons Mencken admired George Washington?
(a) He was tough-living, and whiskey-drinking.
(b) He put his trust and authority in intellectuals and lawyers.
(c) He could cuss up a storm.
(d) He was not convinced of the wisdom of common people.

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

13. What was the "last straw" that forced Mencken to quit the organization in #16?
(a) The relentless shouting of his gym teacher.
(b) An evangelical teen in the reading room.
(c) A painful accident with the horizontal bar.
(d) The fact that the running track was rectangular.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Which was NOT a feature of the ideal aristocracy, according to Mencken?

2. In "The National Letters," what was the cause of all the "diseases" which afflict America?

3. What kind of presence did Henry Cabot Lodge have, according to Mencken?

4. What does Mencken call a man who resists the charms of women?

5. In "Gore in the Caribees," how was Jose Miguel captured?

(see the answer keys)

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