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 stance can Mencken be said to have taken in "Star-Spangled Man"?

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

3. Why did Mencken disagree with contemporary assessments of Abraham Lincoln?

4. What do saints have in common with scientists?

5. Which was NOT one of the reasons why a Christian wouldn't man cheat on his wife, according to "The Libertine"?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the nature of film actor Valentino's problem, as related in "Valentino"?

2. What opinions did Mencken render in "Masters of Tone"?

3. Did Mencken's aesthetics conform to the ideals of the "new architecture"? Explain.

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

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

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

7. Why did Mencken take issue with Oliver Wendell Holmes' final court case?

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

9. What stance did Mencken take in "Mencken's Last Stand"?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In articles like "The Baltimore of the Eighties," Mencken looks back on his childhood. What attitude does Mencken have toward childhood? How did his childhood impact the man he became? Why is it valuable to take this look back?

Essay Topic 3

"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?

(see the answer keys)

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