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. In "Gore in the Caribees," how was Jose Miguel captured?

2. What moral choice faced Mencken and a cop on New Year's Day, in "Recollections of Notable Cops"?

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

4. Who was the president of Cuba when Mencken visited the country in "Gore in the Caribees"?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Contemporaries wrote that Calvin Coolidge bore several similarities to Abraham Lincoln. Why did Mencken disagree with this claim?

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

3. What caused Mencken to question the American psyche in "The Libido for the Ugly"?

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

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

6. What opinion did Mencken have about the English translation of the Bible?

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

8. In "The Noble Experiment," what story did Mencken relate about acquiring alcohol at the Republican National Convention?

9. What questions did Mencken raise about the contemporary understanding of Abraham Lincoln?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Beauty and ugliness were topics of the articles "The Lure of Beauty" and "The Libido of the Ugly."

A) How does Mencken define beauty? How is beauty related to art criticism?

B) Is beauty objective or subjective? Cite examples in the text of how Mencken might answer this question.

C) How is beauty related to physical attraction?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

"Gore in the Caribees" had Mencken doing some foreign reporting in Cuba.

A) What is Mencken's opinion of the Cuban administration? What is his opinion of the rebellion?

B) What can the incident tell us about Mencken's general opinions about ideal government, and how to rule properly?

(see the answer keys)

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