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. 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.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which is NOT one of the reasons winters were difficult in 1880s Baltimore?

2. In "The Baltimore of the Eighties," why does Mencken's mother lament about a trip to the market?

3. Which book was Mencken's touchstone into literature?

4. What, according to Mencken, is "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw"?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What circumstances drove Mencken away from attending the Y. M. C. A.?

2. Describe the religious service Mencken witnessed in "The Hills of Zion."

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

4. What opinion was rendered about William Jennings Bryan in "In Memoriam: W.J.B."?

5. According to Mencken, why would a Christian man not cheat on his wife, according to "The Libertine"?

6. In "A Blind Spot," why was Mencken impervious to the ills of democracy?

7. According to Mencken in "The Calamity of Appomattox," what would have happened if the Civil War had never happened?

8. According to "The Wallace Paranoia," what did candidate Henry Wallace do during the convention of the Progressive Party?

9. How did Mencken distinguish between plutocracy and aristocracy in "A Glance Ahead"?

10. How did Mencken answer the question of whether successful men should have mistresses?

(see the answer keys)

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