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The Vintage Mencken Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _____________________________ Period: ___________________________

This quiz consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which was NOT a source of terrible smell in the Baltimore of the 1880s, according to Mencken?



2. According to Mencken, how did members of the lower class respond to Wilson?



3. What organization did Mencken's father force him to join at age fourteen?



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



5. What was "The Art Eternal" according to Mencken?



Short Essay Questions

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



2. Describe the religious service Mencken witnessed in "The Hills of Zion."



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



4. What opinion was rendered about William Jennings Bryan in "In Memoriam: W.J.B."?



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



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



7. According to Mencken in "The Calamity of Appomattox," what would have happened if the Civil War had never happened?



8. According to "The Wallace Paranoia," what did candidate Henry Wallace do during the convention of the Progressive Party?



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



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



Essay Topics

Democracy was mentioned in "A Blind Spot" and "A Glance Ahead," among other articles. What is Mencken's attitude toward democracy? What are the consequences of a democratic form of government? How does democracy succeed (or fail) because of (or despite) the common people?

Mencken's style and tone are widely celebrated. Using several examples from the text, discuss Mencken's approach to style and tone. How does Mencken present himself to the reader? Who does he posit as his reader? What rhetorical devices does he use to persuade the reader of his position?

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?

(see the answer keys)

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