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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. According to Mencken, what if there had not been a Civil War in the United States?
2. How was Mencken able to get a taxi driver to drive him to a speakeasy in Pennsylvania?
3. Who started chiropractic, according to Mencken?
4. What problem did Mencken have with Justice Holmes' final court case?
5. How had Wallace behaved in "The Wallace Paranoia"?
Short Essay Questions
1. In "Exeunt Omnes," Mencken described his second book on death, which has collected sayings and thoughts on death. What did Mencken maintain was the main idea of the book?
2. What opinion was rendered about William Jennings Bryan in "In Memoriam: W.J.B."?
3. What was Mencken's opinion of chiropractic?
4. What type of people attended the Progressive Party convention of 1948?
5. Why did Mencken miss corporal punishment in schools in "Travail"?
6. In "The Noble Experiment," what story did Mencken relate about acquiring alcohol at the Republican National Convention?
7. What opinion did Mencken have about the English translation of the Bible?
8. What stance did Mencken take in "Mencken's Last Stand"?
9. What opinions did Mencken render in "Masters of Tone"?
10. What did Mencken conclude about his research into the court cases of Oliver Wendell Holmes?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
Like any accomplished columnist, Mencken knew how to tell a good story, as in "The Noble Experiment" and "The Hills of Zion."
A) What agenda, if any, did Mencken have in sharing the stories of "The Noble Experiment"? Use examples from the text.
B) What agenda, if any, did Mencken have in sharing the story of "The Hills of Zion"? Use examples from the text.
Essay Topic 2
Mencken often mentions the idea of an American aristocracy, as in "The National Letters." What could an American aristocracy accomplish, to Mencken's mind? How does Mencken's ideas for the aristocracy relate to his opinions about intellectuals versus common people? What kinds of government systems does he compare the aristocracy to?
Essay Topic 3
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?
This section contains 1,007 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)