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 cheeky nickname did Mencken give Theodore Dreiser?

2. In "Gore in the Caribees," what was Mencken's perspective on the revolution in Cuba?

3. What does Mencken call a man who resists the charms of women?

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

5. Which decade, according to the author, was Mencken at his best?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What was the nature of Mencken's first memory, as described in "Introduction to the Universe"?

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

5. Why did Mencken criticize Woodrow Wilson?

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

7. Why did Mencken believe it was advantageous for him to have not attended college?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Gore in the Caribees" had Mencken doing some foreign reporting in Cuba.

A) What is Mencken's opinion of the Cuban administration? What is his opinion of the rebellion?

B) What can the incident tell us about Mencken's general opinions about ideal government, and how to rule properly?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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