The Vintage Mencken Test | Final Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Which of the following might Mencken say about Calvin Coolidge?
(a) Coolidge pulled himself up from the most meager of upbringings.
(b) Coolidge was as energetic a man as ever graced the White House.
(c) Coolidge was deeply flawed, precisely because of his Presbyterian upbringing.
(d) Coolidge was a practical agnostic.

2. Which of the following was NOT a name applied to William Jennings Bryan by Mencken?
(a) Charlatan.
(b) Fly-catcher.
(c) Mountebank.
(d) Yellow-bellied sapsucker.

3. What was Mencken's attitude toward Grover Cleveland?
(a) Great admiration.
(b) Enjoyment at his suffering.
(c) Contempt for his policies.
(d) Smug pity.

4. According to Mencken, why was Samuel Johnson unique as an artist?
(a) He never cared about his own fame or legacy.
(b) He always gave to charity, and artists are infamous misers.
(c) He never turned against his country, unlike all artists.
(d) He has a particularly thrilling prose style.

5. What was the subject of "A Good Man Gone Wrong"?
(a) A man who heckled an animal at the zoo, and got arrested.
(b) A man who murdered at the request of another man's wife.
(c) A man who robbed in order to feed his family.
(d) A man who was jailed for protesting World War I.

6. What was the subject of "The Noble Experiment"?
(a) Voting during World War I.
(b) A scientific breakthrough Mencken reported on.
(c) Drinking during Prohibition.
(d) The Cuban revolution.

7. What was the subject of the Scopes monkey trial?
(a) The teaching of evolution.
(b) The assault of a zoo heckler by a gorilla.
(c) A treasonous plot to help a Central American country.
(d) The kidnapping of a chimpanzee.

8. Complete the following aphorism found in "Sententiae": "Democracy is..."
(a) "...the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
(b) "...the Declaration of Independence after a trip to the dentist for a full root canal."
(c) "...the weapon waved by the fairer sex."
(d) "...the application of love to money. Everybody's love."

9. Which was one of the architectural styles Mencken mentioned as part of the "new architecture"?
(a) Modernism.
(b) Victorian.
(c) American colonial.
(d) Cubism.

10. Who were the two attorneys in the Scopes monkey trial?
(a) Clarence Darrow and Henry Cabot Lodge.
(b) William Jennings Bryan and Andrew Still.
(c) Theodore Dreiser and John Pershing.
(d) William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow.

11. What was the nature of the analogy Mencken uses involving Oliver Wendell Holmes, a hammer, and a feather?
(a) Holmes tickled with feathers, but never punished with a hammer.
(b) Holmes touched the sky with feathers, and then built a castle in the sky with a hammer.
(c) Holmes stuffed a mattress with feathers, but then beat the mattress flat with a hammer.
(d) Holmes wrote with a feather (quill), but legislated with a hammer.

12. What was Mencken's opinion of Gothic architecture?
(a) Completely out of style.
(b) Joyless and dreary.
(c) Valuable and useful.
(d) Hideous.

13. What was the function of the Bill of Rights, per "Mr. Justice Holmes"?
(a) To protect Americans from the tyranny of the state.
(b) To protect religion from devil worshippers.
(c) To protect the aristocracy from the low classes.
(d) To ensure a pistol or shotgun is available in every household.

14. What was unique to the American psyche according to Mencken in "Libido for the Ugly"?
(a) An obsession with staying thin.
(b) Sexual arousal when viewing art objects.
(c) A queer fascination with ugliness.
(d) A tendency to be rude and loud during movie screenings.

15. What did Mencken conclude in his examination of rulings in "Mr. Justice Holmes"?
(a) Justice Holmes ruled too often in favor of the powers that be, rather than the people.
(b) Mencken slyly suggests Holmes should tuck chickens under his arms because of his chicken-like cowardice.
(c) Justice Holmes rendered fantastically bizarre rulings, and should be impeached.
(d) Justice Holmes ruled too often for rabble-rousers, and not often enough for the aristocracy.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Valentino invite Mencken to dinner?

2. What theoretical scenario did Mencken pose in "The Calamity of Appomattox"?

3. Which of the following was true in regard to statements made by Mencken about chiropractic?

4. What was the flaw of FDR's opponent in the Democratic National Convention of 1932?

5. What was Mencken's phrase for religious fundamentalism?

(see the answer keys)

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