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. Who is the editor of this volume?

2. What famous speech did Ralph Waldo Emerson deliver in 1837?

3. What profession should the truth-teller NOT aspire to, according to Mencken?

4. Which was one of Mencken's criticisms for Woodrow Wilson?

5. What was Mencken's criticism for Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What circumstances drove Mencken away from attending the Y. M. C. A.?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In articles like "The Baltimore of the Eighties," Mencken looks back on his childhood. What attitude does Mencken have toward childhood? How did his childhood impact the man he became? Why is it valuable to take this look back?

Essay Topic 2

Mencken often commented on political figures, such as in "Pater Patriae" and "Lodge."

A) Discuss two articles in which Mencken seems to have a positive opinion of the political figure. What does Mencken's admiration tell us about Mencken?

B) Discuss two articles in which Mencken displays a negative opinion of the political figure. Similar to A), what does Mencken's criticisms tell us about Mencken?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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