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

2. What must modern religions do to "escape absurdity"?
(a) They must allow gay marriage.
(b) They should accept a small element of agnosticism.
(c) They should encourage a much more relaxed church service.
(d) They must disband immediately.

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

4. According to "Quid Est Veritas?," what kind of religion professes to know God exactly and completely?
(a) Perfect religions.
(b) Admirable religions.
(c) American religions.
(d) Primitive religions.

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

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

7. Which historical figure did Mencken ridicule by stating he was known as a "plaster saint"?
(a) George Washington.
(b) Napoleon Bonaparte.
(c) Theodore Dreiser.
(d) Abraham Lincoln.

8. 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.

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

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

11. What criticism did Mencken have for the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation?
(a) It freed all slaves, when to preserve peace it should have freed only some.
(b) It directly led to the Battle of Shiloh.
(c) It only freed specific slaves, and not all slaves.
(d) It freed slaves all at once, when it should have done it in a gradual way.

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

13. In "Recollections of Notable Cops," why does Mencken find the idea of a police academy remarkable?
(a) Mencken regards policemen as corrupt, vicious brutes.
(b) Mencken states that police academies are contrary to the ideals of democracy.
(c) Cops in Mencken's younger days were not educated.
(d) Academies usually teach useless skills; police academies teach useful skills.

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

15. Which was NOT a feature of the ideal aristocracy, according to Mencken?
(a) The presence of bold, free-thinking men.
(b) Intellectual superiority.
(c) The presence of a complex set of protocols and accepted behaviors.
(d) The ability to produce excellent art.

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. According to "The Skeptic," what do women always bear?

4. What quotation did Mencken borrow from Theodore Dreiser in "Cavia Cobaya"?

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

(see the answer keys)

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