The Vintage Mencken Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What famous speech did Ralph Waldo Emerson deliver in 1837?
(a) The Pride of European Intellectualism.
(b) The American Scholar.
(c) The Awfulness of War.
(d) The Merits of Monogamy.

2. According to "The Skeptic," what do women always bear?
(a) A strong sense of household finances.
(b) A healthy mistrust of their husbands.
(c) The strength of their religious convictions.
(d) The burden of caring for families.

3. Charlie the policeman was charged with which task, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?
(a) Organizing the annual policeman's ball.
(b) Recruiting craftsmen to refurbish the jail.
(c) Finding and arresting at least a dozen drunkards every shift.
(d) Investigating a serial pursesnatcher.

4. What was Theodore Dreiser's national and ethnic background?
(a) American.
(b) Swedish.
(c) French.
(d) German.

5. According to "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw," what is a woman's only power?
(a) The power over her children.
(b) The power to ruin a man's life with divorce.
(c) The power of a house's pursestrings.
(d) The power to torture a man through love.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why do the majority of people lie, according to Mencken?

2. According to the editor, why were the 1930s Mencken's "downfall"?

3. What was the subject of Walt Whitman's "Democratic Vistas"?

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

5. What was the name of H. L. Mencken's brother?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Gene the magistrate's approach to law and justice in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?

2. What criticisms did Mencken have for Theodore Dreiser?

3. What was the chief problem of a Baltimore summer, according to Mencken in "The Baltimore of the Eighties"?

4. Why do men usually marry women who are "basically hideous"?

5. Instead of military generals, who did Mencken wish to award medals to in "Star-Spangled Man"?

6. Why did Mencken criticize Woodrow Wilson?

7. According to Mencken, why do so many people lie?

8. What was Mencken's opinion of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "The American Scholar"?

9. How did Charlie get craftsmen to work at the jail in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?

10. Why did Alistair Cooke feel that Mencken experienced a "downfall" in the 1930s?

(see the answer keys)

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