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. In "Recollections of Notable Cops," why does Mencken find the idea of a police academy remarkable?
(a) Mencken regards policemen as corrupt, vicious brutes.
(b) Academies usually teach useless skills; police academies teach useful skills.
(c) Mencken states that police academies are contrary to the ideals of democracy.
(d) Cops in Mencken's younger days were not educated.

2. What dominated Puritanism, according to Mencken in "The National Letters"?
(a) The simple necessities of food, clothing, and shelter.
(b) Free-thinking men of purpose.
(c) Fear, and the suspicion of art.
(d) Religious tomfoolery.

3. What does Mencken call a man who resists the charms of women?
(a) A most rare beast indeed.
(b) A most distinguished gentleman.
(c) An exceedingly wise stone statue.
(d) A most disgusting cad.

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

5. What did Mencken, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, feel about the tradition of giving medals in the military?
(a) Medals should be given only at the conclusion of career service.
(b) Medals should be given on a daily basis, because every day soldiers sacrifice.
(c) Medals should be reserved just for generals, as the "idea men" of the military.
(d) Medals should be given to common soldiers, and not just generals.

Short Answer Questions

1. What criticism did Dr. William Bayard Hale have for Woodrow Wilson?

2. According to Mencken, how did members of the lower class respond to Wilson?

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

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

5. According to Mencken, what was Christianity's history with lying?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why was 1880s Baltimore such a loud town?

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

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

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

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

8. According to Mencken, Theodore Dreiser had what emotional effect on the reader?

9. What was Mencken's remedy for curing the ills of modern religions?

10. What criticisms did Mencken level at General John Pershing?

(see the answer keys)

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