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 Awfulness of War.
(b) The American Scholar.
(c) The Pride of European Intellectualism.
(d) The Merits of Monogamy.

2. Why do the majority of people lie, according to Mencken?
(a) They lie for fame.
(b) They lie for profit.
(c) They are fearful of being arrested.
(d) They are unhappy with their lot in life.

3. What is democracy's "aim," according to Mencken?
(a) To indoctrinate everyone in religious "poppycock."
(b) To protect the children of a society.
(c) To ensure great wealth for all.
(d) To pull everyone down to the same level.

4. Which was one of Mencken's criticisms for Woodrow Wilson?
(a) He had the gall to pardon Eugene Debs.
(b) He was stuffy and puritanical.
(c) He took the presidential office by voter fraud and corruption.
(d) He had "never looked a common man in the eye."

5. Which decade, according to the author, was Mencken at his best?
(a) The 1940s.
(b) The 1910s.
(c) The 1930s.
(d) The 1920s.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following could NOT be used to describe Mencken's tone in "Star-Spangled Man"?

2. Why did Mencken disagree with contemporary assessments of Abraham Lincoln?

3. According to Mencken, what kind of books did Theodore Dreiser produce?

4. Which was NOT a source of terrible smell in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?

5. What was the subject of the first Mencken-written article that was ever published?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was accomplished by Walt Whitman's "Democratic Vistas," according to Mencken?

2. What is democracy's aim, in "A Blind Spot"? What is a crime in the eyes of democracy?

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

4. What criticisms did Mencken have for Theodore Dreiser?

5. How must men react to a woman's allure?

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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