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

2. What might Mencken say was Grover Cleveland's defining trait?
(a) Stubbornness.
(b) Intelligence.
(c) Political acumen.
(d) A lust for life.

3. What event did Mencken cover in "The Wallace Paranoia"?
(a) The marriage of a governor.
(b) The Progressive Party convention.
(c) A socialite's ball.
(d) The New York World's Fair.

4. What did Mencken mean by the term "Ku Kluxry"?
(a) Cultural superiority.
(b) Bedsheets.
(c) Racism.
(d) Dressing in silly clothes.

5. Why was early Christianity superior to modern Christianity, per "Holy Writ"?
(a) It featured a lot less sermonizing.
(b) It featured more moral instructions.
(c) Services took place in cold places, to ensure better concentration.
(d) Early Christianity had a less strict interpretation of Biblical stories.

6. Why did Valentino invite Mencken to dinner?
(a) To advise him on whether or not to take an upcoming film role.
(b) To ask for advice about a fight with a New York newspaper.
(c) To challenge him to a duel for libel.
(d) To beg him to ask a young woman out on a date for him.

7. How was Mencken able to get a taxi driver to drive him to a speakeasy in Pennsylvania?
(a) He gave the driver a ten dollar bill.
(b) He threatened the driver with jail time.
(c) He showed the driver the musical score from a Bach concert.
(d) He agreed to write an article about the driver.

8. What aspect of old-time education did Mencken miss most in modern education?
(a) The charm of the one-room schoolhouse.
(b) The tolling of the dinner triangle.
(c) The insistence on only male teachers.
(d) Corporal punishment.

9. How do common folk read the Bible, according to Mencken in "Holy Writ"?
(a) They are fooled by its beautiful prose, and pay no attention to the ideas behind the words.
(b) They read it, but find nothing to relate to their personal experience.
(c) They find it hilarious, for some strange reason.
(d) They don't read the Bible at all, and are illiterate fools.

10. How did Mencken describe the music of Chopin?
(a) "Genesis I, I"
(b) A dozen wind chimes in a hurricane."
(c) "Silver macaroni, exquisitely tangled."
(d) "Two embalmers at work upon a minor poet."

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

12. What criticism did Mencken have for a book filled with sayings and writings about death?
(a) The book failed to mention music at all.
(b) The book failed to include the work of Theodore Dreiser.
(c) The book had three quotations attributed to the contemptible Oliver Wendell Holmes.
(d) The book had nothing from the ancient Greeks.

13. In "The Hills of Zion," why did a woman warn against the reading of books?
(a) Only a congregation's preacher should take on the responsibility of reading.
(b) She asked, What knowledge could exist outside of the Bible?
(c) She believed that books are full of snakes and corn cobs.
(d) Reading would require too much effort.

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

15. In "Valentino," what did the press find in a men's bathroom that caused them to mock Valentino and his "Latin Lover" image?
(a) A bar of lavender-scented soap-on-a-rope.
(b) Women's perfume.
(c) Pink talcum-powder.
(d) Underwear with a hole in it.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. According to Mencken, why was Samuel Johnson unique as an artist?

3. According to "Exeunt Omnes," Mencken was disappointed with the amount of books dedicated to which subject?

4. Where did the Scopes monkey trial take place?

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

(see the answer keys)

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