H. L. Mencken Writing Styles in The Vintage Mencken

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Perspective

Mencken comes from an upper-class background in a wealthy portion of Baltimore, Maryland, in the late 19th century. Perhaps this upbringing can account for Mencken's through-and-through elitism. For Mencken, there are clearly different classes of people, and some people are superior to others. Unfortunately, in a democracy like the United States, too often the inmates run the asylum, and the half-witted commoners are left to rule. In short, Mencken's perspective is clearly from someplace high, looking down on society. This imbues him with a singular arrogance and authority. There is no room for alternative points of view when Mencken renders an opinion on art or a politician. Mencken is sufficiently insulated from and distanced from society, giving him a power of observance and criticism. From his perch above the commoners, Mencken can scold, chide, lambaste, and laugh at society, religion, and human foibles in all their glory. There...

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This section contains 641 words
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Buy The Vintage Mencken Study Guide
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