The Vintage Mencken Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was the "last straw" that forced Mencken to quit the organization in #16?

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

3. Which decade, according to the author, was Mencken at his best?

4. Mencken provided what colorful phrase to describe a woman's body?

5. What aspect of man-woman relationships are the movies incorrect about, according to Mencken?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What was the chief problem of a Baltimore summer, according to Mencken in "The Baltimore of the Eighties"?

5. How must men react to a woman's allure?

6. What criticisms did Mencken have for Theodore Dreiser?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Abraham Lincoln was the subject of a long essay. Discuss the logic and structure of Mencken's argument in regards to Abraham Lincoln. What premise does Mencken assume? What is his thesis? What evidence does he use to support his thesis, and what logic does he employ?

Essay Topic 2

Mencken discussed perfection in "The Good Man," and states that every good quality in a man is balanced by a flaw.

A) Does Mencken feel that perfection is possible? How can "The Good Man" be reconciled with something like "A Glance Ahead," in which Mencken imagines an ideal government?

B) Is there a danger in attempting perfection?

C) What might Mencken say about perfection and its relation to organized religion?

Essay Topic 3

Mencken was interested in reviving an American intellectual movement.

A) Who were the forefathers of this movement? What texts are important?

B) What does Mencken feel is the current state of the American intellectual movement?

C) What can be done to further the movement?

(see the answer keys)

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