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

2. In which city did Mencken grow up?
(a) Baltimore.
(b) Washington, D.C.
(c) Pittsburgh.
(d) Cincinnati.

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

4. What was the subject of the first Mencken-written article that was ever published?
(a) A high-society party.
(b) A horse robbery.
(c) The gold standard.
(d) Political discontent in Europe.

5. What moral choice faced Mencken and a cop on New Year's Day, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?
(a) A man clearly beat his wife, but could not be technically arrested.
(b) They learned about a corrupt policeman, and had to decide whether to turn the man in.
(c) A dead man was found with a large sum of money in his pocket.
(d) A prostitute bribed the policeman.

Short Answer Questions

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

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

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

4. Which boat captain helped Mencken while in Cuba?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Mencken's opinion about Henry Cabot Lodge?

2. Why did Mencken criticize Woodrow Wilson?

3. What was the nature of Mencken's first-ever printed article?

4. What questions did Mencken raise about the contemporary understanding of Abraham Lincoln?

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

6. What was Mencken's ideal form of government?

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

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

9. What is the difference between men and women in regards to trust, according to "The Skeptic"?

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

(see the answer keys)

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