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 was NOT a reason Mencken used in his assessment that houses are ugly in "The Libido for the Ugly"?
(a) The houses were painted yellow.
(b) The houses were structurally misshapen.
(c) The houses were shabby and dilapidated.
(d) The houses had awkward, skinny chimneys.

2. Why did Mencken curse those who translated the Bible into English?
(a) They made many factual errors.
(b) They made the prose overly flowery and beautiful.
(c) They misinterpreted the principles of Jesus Christ.
(d) They made a host of grammatical errors.

3. What was the point of the section, "Sententiae"?
(a) Mencken railed against the European royal class.
(b) It was a personal letter from Mencken to his wife, in order to show Mencken's softer side.
(c) It was a collection of humorous and witty Mencken sayings.
(d) Mencken attempted to get a judge thrown off a case.

4. Per "Mr. Justice Holmes," which of the following might Mencken say about the legislature as a state organization?
(a) It is immune to corruption.
(b) It is subject to special interests and blackmail.
(c) Despite its flaws, it always acts in the interest of the people.
(d) It is run by the aristocracy.

5. How would Mencken respond to the notion that William Jennings Bryan was an earnest man?
(a) He was not earnest; he was inherently two-faced.
(b) He might have been earnest, but that was about his only admirable quality.
(c) He was earnest to the public, but in private he was a swindler and schemer.
(d) Earnest or no, he did the right thing in the Scopes monkey trial.

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

7. What was Mencken's phrase for religious fundamentalism?
(a) "The Fluff of the Flock."
(b) "Ye Olde Honest Truth."
(c) "That Old-Time Religion."
(d) "The Shepherd's Porridge."

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

9. 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) Wink your eye at some homely girl.
(d) Give your mother a kiss, for me.

10. Who did Mencken NOT count among the "crackpots" present in "The Wallace Paranoia"?
(a) Psychopaths.
(b) Communists.
(c) Bible-belt evangelists.
(d) Career political operatives.

11. What was the source of Oliver Wendell Holmes' allure?
(a) His ability to stick to the facts and write sound legal opinions.
(b) His eloquent, epigrammatic writing style.
(c) His personal charisma and sometimes outrageous court antics.
(d) His ability to bribe officials at every level of government.

12. Complete the following aphorism found in "Sententiae": "Adultery is..."
(a) "...the application of democracy to love."
(b) "...the destruction of love, life, and money."
(c) "...a willingness to get what's yours."
(d) "...like a marriage with a bad cold."

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

14. What was the general atmosphere of the Democratic National Convention of 1932, as reported by Mencken?
(a) Stuffy and mannered.
(b) Like Mafia men meeting at a restaurant, as the politicians are all corrupt.
(c) Quiet, like a gentlemen's club.
(d) A complete circus.

15. Which of the following is NOT something that exists as a result of the Anglo-Saxon race, according to Mencken?
(a) A tradition of cultural superiority.
(b) Fundamentalism.
(c) The slaughter of American Indians.
(d) The Ku Klux Klan.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following might Mencken say about Calvin Coolidge?

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

3. How did Mencken describe the music of Bach?

4. To what degree has "new architecture" impacted America?

5. What did Mencken call for in "Mencken's Last Stand"?

(see the answer keys)

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