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 did Gene the magistrate do with respect to an old man in his court accused of wife beating?

2. According to the editor, why were the 1930s Mencken's "downfall"?

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

4. In which city did Mencken grow up?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Mencken distinguish between plutocracy and aristocracy in "A Glance Ahead"?

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

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

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

5. What was Mencken's opinion of stage acting?

6. What is the difference between men and women in regards to trust, according to "The Skeptic"?

7. What was Mencken's opinion of chiropractic?

8. For what reasons did Mencken admire Grover Cleveland?

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

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

Essay 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 could be said to operate from an anti-war stance, as in "Star-Spangled Man."

A) How does Mencken make this bias clear? Cite examples from the text.

B) What is Mencken's opinion of World War I? How was the war started? Why might it have been prevented?

C) Is Mencken's anti-war bias explicit or implicit? Cite examples.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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