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 loud noise in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?
(a) Children singing and yelling in the streets.
(b) Iron tires hitting hard cobblestone streets.
(c) Barking dogs.
(d) Penny candy vendors hawking their candy.

2. What was the nature of the Prince of Wales story Mencken tells in "The Art Eternal"?
(a) The Prince of Wales begged for alms, in order to display his humility.
(b) The Prince of Wales lied in order to protect the virtues of a woman.
(c) The Prince of Wales stole in order to feed his citizens.
(d) The Prince of Wales framed a murderer he could not imprison by lawful means.

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

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

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

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

7. 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 reserved just for generals, as the "idea men" of the military.
(c) Medals should be given only at the conclusion of career service.
(d) Medals should be given on a daily basis, because every day soldiers sacrifice.

8. Why does the typical man have a poor conception of beauty?
(a) The entire world, with very few exceptions, is hideously ugly.
(b) Make-up is made with a chemical that confuses the brain.
(c) Even a man's enemy will tell him his wife is pretty.
(d) Even mirrors are manufactured to lie about a woman's beauty.

9. In "Star-Spangled Man," Mencken argued that who, besides soldiers, should get medals?
(a) Murderers, thieves, and rapists.
(b) Writers and intellectuals.
(c) Anyone hostile to the United States.
(d) Dock workers and tugboat captains.

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

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

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

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

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

15. Which is NOT a reason Mencken gives for admiring Theodore Dreiser?
(a) Dreiser's unique place in the world of literature.
(b) Dreiser's unchanging subject matter and style.
(c) The ability for Dreiser to touch a reader on an emotional level.
(d) Dreiser's insistence on describing every detail of a scene.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which was one of Mencken's criticisms for Woodrow Wilson?

2. Which decade, according to the author, was Mencken at his best?

3. What famous speech did Ralph Waldo Emerson deliver in 1837?

4. What did Gene the magistrate do with respect to an old man in his court accused of wife beating?

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

(see the answer keys)

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