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 Mencken's criticism for Lincoln's Gettysburg Address?

2. According to Mencken, what was Christianity's history with lying?

3. According to "The Skeptic," what do women always bear?

4. Why shouldn't men trust other men?

5. What part of Mencken's work is NOT included in the volume?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. According to Mencken, why do so many people lie?

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

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

7. What criticisms did Mencken level at General John Pershing?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

What was Mencken's perspective on education? Is there a difference between education done in school, and education derived from "real life" so to speak? How does Mencken view his lack of a college education? What does Mencken see as the problem with modern school-based education?

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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