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 subject of the first Mencken-written article that was ever published?

2. What kind of presence did Henry Cabot Lodge have, according to Mencken?

3. What do saints have in common with scientists?

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

5. Which is NOT a reason Mencken gives for admiring Theodore Dreiser?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Why did Mencken criticize Woodrow Wilson?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Articles such as "Theodore Dreiser" and "Masters of Tone" present Mencken the art critic.

A) What can Mencken's criticisms reveal about his theory of art? Cite specific examples.

B) What can Mencken's criticisms reveal about his own preferences? Can art be objectively excellent, or does it always depend upon the viewer/spectator?

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

Religion was the frequent target of Mencken's attacks, such as in "Quid Est Veritas?" and "Holy Writ."

A) Why is religion dangerous, according to Mencken? Cite specific examples in the texts.

B) Can religion be salvaged somehow, to Mencken's mind, or is religion universally bad?

C) Describe fundamentalism, and discuss how fundamentalism factors in to Mencken's religious views.

(see the answer keys)

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