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. Who was FDR's chief opponent in the Democratic Convention of 1932?
(a) Woodrow Wilson.
(b) Al Smith.
(c) William Randolph Hearst.
(d) Henry Cabot Lodge.

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

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

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

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

6. Which of the following is NOT a trait of the writer, according to Mencken in "The Author at Work"?
(a) The writer is a social creature.
(b) The writer is in it for the money.
(c) The writer is starved for attention.
(d) The writer is a hypochondriac.

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

8. What was Calvin Coolidge's chief trait, according to Mencken?
(a) "Self-induced narcolepsy."
(b) "A hide as tough as a rhinoceros, and a horn to match."
(c) "A great appetite for jams and jellies."
(d) "A terrific ability to arrive at the wrong place, but at the right time."

9. Where did the Scopes monkey trial take place?
(a) Dayton, Tennessee.
(b) Baltimore, Maryland.
(c) St. Louis, Missouri.
(d) Chicago, Illinois.

10. What would best describe Mencken's attitude toward Oliver Wendell Holmes?
(a) He was a Liberal hero in name only.
(b) He was a fantastic advocate of progressive causes.
(c) He was a quack chiropractor.
(d) His rulings were thoroughly corrupt.

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

12. How had Wallace behaved in "The Wallace Paranoia"?
(a) He was convinced there are Communist space aliens.
(b) He had managed difficult times with great elegance.
(c) He was flirting with "most every thing in a dress."
(d) He had been a bumbler and an "ass."

13. Which of the following did NOT happen during "The Hills of Zion"?
(a) A preacher appeared to strangle a woman to death before he miraculously "cures" her.
(b) A young woman went into convulsions.
(c) A woman warned against reading books.
(d) The preacher began to speak in tongues.

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

15. 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) Alfred Knopf.
(d) Gene the magistrate.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was the subject of "The Noble Experiment"?

2. What might Mencken say was Grover Cleveland's defining trait?

3. What point did Mencken make when referring to the picture of a French soldier who was deformed with multiple amputations in war?

4. What aspect of old-time education did Mencken miss most in modern education?

5. Which is the best style of architecture, according to Mencken?

(see the answer keys)

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