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, according to Mencken, is "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw"?
(a) The horrible smells of Baltimore in the 1880s.
(b) War.
(c) The allure of a woman.
(d) A great work of art.

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

3. According to Mencken, what kind of books did Theodore Dreiser produce?
(a) Weighty, substantial tomes that one must concentrate on for a long time.
(b) Breezy, summer-day reading.
(c) Wheezing, moralizing diatribes.
(d) Books more important as museum pieces than texts that should be read.

4. What criticism did Mencken have for the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation?
(a) It freed slaves all at once, when it should have done it in a gradual way.
(b) It only freed specific slaves, and not all slaves.
(c) It freed all slaves, when to preserve peace it should have freed only some.
(d) It directly led to the Battle of Shiloh.

5. Who is the editor of this volume?
(a) William Jennings Bryan.
(b) H. L. Mencken.
(c) Alfred Knopf.
(d) Alistair Cooke.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which boat captain helped Mencken while in Cuba?

2. Which was NOT a feature of the ideal aristocracy, according to Mencken?

3. Why do the majority of people lie, according to Mencken?

4. Charlie the policeman was charged with which task, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?

5. Which war was General John Pershing most famously involved in?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why did Mencken believe it was advantageous for him to have not attended college?

3. Did Mencken's aesthetics conform to the ideals of the "new architecture"? Explain.

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

5. How was FDR able to win the Democratic National Convention of 1932?

6. In "Gore in the Caribees," what becames of the rebel leader, Jose Miguel Gomez?

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

8. What examples did Mencken provide to support his judgment of Anglo-Saxons?

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

10. Why do men usually marry women who are "basically hideous"?

(see the answer keys)

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