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 criticism did Mencken have for the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation?
(a) It only freed specific slaves, and not all slaves.
(b) It directly led to the Battle of Shiloh.
(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.

2. Who presided over the Republican Convention of 1920?
(a) Henry Cabot Lodge.
(b) Franklin Pierce.
(c) Grover Garfield.
(d) William Jennings Bryan.

3. What did Mencken think about monogamy, as revealed in "Cavia Cobaya"?
(a) Great men aspired to and achieved it.
(b) Monogamy stifled the natural urgings of a man.
(c) Monogamy was the laughable product of democracy.
(d) Functionally, monogamy was the same as polygamy, because everyone cheats.

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

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

6. How was Theodore Dreiser like Joseph Conrad, according to Mencken?
(a) Both men were inherently optimistic.
(b) They both seemed to hate women.
(c) Both men shared an innate pessimism.
(d) They both had a love of pirate adventures and the sea life.

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

8. 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 issued the proclamation in a desperate and emotionally-troubled state.
(c) Lincoln was doing the bidding of "Black Republicans" by releasing the proclamation.
(d) Lincoln was tricked into issuing the proclamation by business interests.

9. What did Mencken, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, feel about the tradition of giving medals in the military?
(a) Medals should be given to common soldiers, and not just generals.
(b) Medals should be given on a daily basis, because every day soldiers sacrifice.
(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. Mencken provided what colorful phrase to describe a woman's body?
(a) A slap-happy seal.
(b) A drunken dollar-mark.
(c) A star-spangled mess.
(d) An hourglass of horrors.

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

12. What does Mencken make synonymous with democracy in "A Blind Spot"?
(a) Agnosticism.
(b) Hedonism.
(c) Totalitarianism.
(d) Puritanism.

13. 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 had policemen follow the clergyman wherever he went.
(c) Gene ruled that the clergyman was within his rights to practice in the Jewish ghetto.
(d) Gene created trumped-up charges to render him no longer a problem.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What cheeky nickname did Mencken give Theodore Dreiser?

3. What does Mencken state about the literary influence(s) of Theodore Dreiser?

4. What one thing did Mencken feel was useful from the contributions of Sigmund Freud?

5. What human flaw does democracy depend upon, according to Mencken?

(see the answer keys)

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