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 was Mencken's nickname for Chesapeake Bay?
(a) The big blue.
(b) Crab central.
(c) Home of the yummy lobsters.
(d) The protein factory.

2. Which was described as Mencken's earliest memory?
(a) Getting bitten by a snake.
(b) Swatting flies with his brother in the kitchen.
(c) Watching a carnival of the Order of Orioles.
(d) Attending a speech of William Jennings Bryan.

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

4. What does Mencken state about the literary influence(s) of Theodore Dreiser?
(a) Dreiser was the product of Frank Norris.
(b) Dreiser was the product of Emile Zola.
(c) No one author can be pointed to as an influence.
(d) Dreiser draws upon the literary tradition of Germany.

5. What kind of presence did Henry Cabot Lodge have, according to Mencken?
(a) Lodge was meek and soft-voiced.
(b) Lodge was cantankerous and given to bickering.
(c) Lodge was powerful and authoritative.
(d) Lodge swore often and told dirty jokes, shocking women.

Short Answer Questions

1. What human flaw does democracy depend upon, according to Mencken?

2. What was the name of H. L. Mencken's brother?

3. Which man did Mencken dub the "Star-Spangled Man"?

4. What did Mencken, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, feel about the tradition of giving medals in the military?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. In "A Blind Spot," why was Mencken impervious to the ills of democracy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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