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. What might Mencken say about a writer's sense of beauty?
(a) The writer has a profound sense of beauty.
(b) The writer has an average sense of beauty.
(c) Beauty is irrelevant to the writer, who must deal with cold, hard facts.
(d) The writer has a very poor sense of beauty.

2. How was plutocracy created, according to Mencken?
(a) From the corrupting influence of money.
(b) Through dictatorial grabs for power.
(c) From a desperate and starving peasant class.
(d) From the ruins of proper aristocracy.

3. What was the subject of Mencken's final published article?
(a) The "newest quackery" of household appliances.
(b) A horse robbery.
(c) The murder of an adulterous housewife.
(d) A court case tinged with racism.

4. To what degree has "new architecture" impacted America?
(a) It has not had much of an impact.
(b) It has come to dominate America, much to Mencken's chagrin.
(c) It hasn't reached American shores yet, and Mencken pleads with Europe to let America "borrow" it.
(d) It has come to dominate America, much to Mencken's delight.

5. What was Mencken's epitaph?
(a) Wink your eye at some homely girl.
(b) Remember what I said, not what I did.
(c) This gravestone may alternately be used as a paperweight.
(d) Give your mother a kiss, for me.

6. Who was Mencken with at a Bach concert in Pennsylvania when he decided to get some liquor?
(a) Woodrow Wilson.
(b) Henry Cabot Lodge.
(c) Gene the magistrate.
(d) Alfred Knopf.

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

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

9. What was Mencken's general opinion of religion at the end of "Holy Writ"?
(a) Religion is a great good, and responsible for much of what is good in civilization.
(b) Religion is evil, and should be outlawed.
(c) Religion is valuable, but flawed.
(d) Religion is a pretty silly business.

10. How did Mencken appraise Valentino in their dinner meeting?
(a) Valentino was a noble soul questioning his vulgar acting profession.
(b) Valentino was a ham actor of the highest order.
(c) Valentino was a brute who did not deserve his fame or money.
(d) Valentino was a genius who would be better suited as a scientist or engineer.

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

12. According to "The New Architecture," when will Man have "built his own prison"?
(a) When people build houses using the style of English Eighteenth Century.
(b) When he replaces Gothic architecture with Modernist architecture.
(c) When Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is not heralded as a champion of new design.
(d) When new architecture is replaced by neoclassical architecture.

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

14. Why, according to Mencken, do virtuous people end up sinning the worst?
(a) To be "virtuous" is a lie: the virtuous are among the most sinful among us.
(b) Virtuous people give of themselves so much, they are empty inside.
(c) The virtuous don't know how to handle sin, and thus get carried away.
(d) Virtuous people do difficult work, and this work drives them insane.

15. What was Mencken's current opinion of the American South, as revealed in "The Calamity of Appomattox"?
(a) It was a culturally superior place.
(b) It was a culturally inferior place.
(c) It was a lightning-rod of controversy.
(d) It was an economic powerhouse.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following is a trait of the Anglo-Saxon race, per "The Anglo-Saxon"?

2. What would best describe Mencken's attitude toward Oliver Wendell Holmes?

3. How had Wallace behaved in "The Wallace Paranoia"?

4. What problem did Mencken have with Justice Holmes' final court case?

5. How did Mencken describe the music of Chopin?

(see the answer keys)

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