The Vintage Mencken Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test 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

Essay Topic 1

Man-woman relationships were a frequent topic of study, as in "The Art Eternal" and "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw." How does Mencken view the dynamic between men and women? What are the differences between men and women? In what way do men and women engage in courtship?

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

Mencken mused about death in "Exeunt Omnes."

A) What was the aspect of death which interested Mencken the most?

B) How might "Exeunt Omnes" help us understand Mencken's anti-war stance? How does Mencken's attitude toward death relate to his anti-war stance?

C) Per Mencken's own apparent attitude, what might Mencken tell his readers is the best attitude to have toward death and mortality?

(see the answer keys)

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