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 does Mencken make synonymous with democracy in "A Blind Spot"?
(a) Totalitarianism.
(b) Agnosticism.
(c) Puritanism.
(d) Hedonism.

2. What was Alistair Cooke's relationship to H. L. Mencken?
(a) A journalist and friend.
(b) A childhood acquaintance.
(c) A political enemy.
(d) A poet whom Mencken greatly admires.

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

4. Which was NOT a feature of the ideal aristocracy, according to Mencken?
(a) The ability to produce excellent art.
(b) The presence of bold, free-thinking men.
(c) The presence of a complex set of protocols and accepted behaviors.
(d) Intellectual superiority.

5. What was "The Art Eternal" according to Mencken?
(a) Portrait painting.
(b) Lying.
(c) Literature.
(d) Prostitution.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What criticism did Mencken have for the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation?

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

4. Which historical figure did Mencken ridicule by stating he was known as a "plaster saint"?

5. What did Mencken wonder about Henry Cabot Lodge?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What was Gene the magistrate's approach to law and justice in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Why are "handsome men" suspicious, according to "The Lure of Beauty"?

(see the answer keys)

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