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. What was the subject of Walt Whitman's "Democratic Vistas"?
(a) Whitman's desire that a class of intellectuals would rise up to rule America.
(b) Whitman's argument that republicanism is much preferred to democracy.
(c) The awe-inspiring beauty of several places in America.
(d) Whitman's faith in the common man to rule himself.

3. Who presided over the Republican Convention of 1920?
(a) William Jennings Bryan.
(b) Franklin Pierce.
(c) Grover Garfield.
(d) Henry Cabot Lodge.

4. Why do "handsome men" deserve suspicion?
(a) They are "ugly" inside.
(b) They are terrible conversationalists.
(c) The human body is inherently ugly.
(d) They are always self-serving and vain.

5. Which is NOT one of the reasons winters were difficult in 1880s Baltimore?
(a) Snow caused many roofs to cave in.
(b) Water pipes could burst.
(c) Cellars could flood.
(d) The cold was severe, and furnaces did not help much.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why was Theodore Dreiser compared to Franz Schubert by Mencken?

2. Who was the president of Cuba when Mencken visited the country in "Gore in the Caribees"?

3. What did Mencken think about Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation?

4. Which was one of Mencken's criticisms for Woodrow Wilson?

5. What do saints have in common with scientists?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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. Why did Mencken criticize Woodrow Wilson?

9. What was the nature of Mencken's first memory, as described in "Introduction to the Universe"?

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

(see the answer keys)

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