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 is the best style of architecture, according to Mencken?
(a) English Eighteenth Century.
(b) Art Nouveau.
(c) Futurism.
(d) Modernism.

2. 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) A complete circus.
(c) Stuffy and mannered.
(d) Quiet, like a gentlemen's club.

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

4. Which of the following was NOT an attribute of an artist, as Mencken describes in "The Artist"?
(a) The artist turns against his country and countrymen.
(b) The artist is more sensitive to his environment than normal people.
(c) The artist is patriotic.
(d) The artist is more easily wounded.

5. What is wrong, in Mencken's opinion, with most artists' depictions of death?
(a) They show death to be pathetic and ridiculous, which is false.
(b) They show death to be dramatic and heroic, which is false.
(c) They are obsessed with death in battle, when death usually happens in the bathtub.
(d) They never show women dying, only men.

6. In "The Wallace Paranoia," who was Mencken referring to with the phrase "raisins in the bread."
(a) Honorable, career politicians.
(b) Extremists and the mentally unstable.
(c) Bible-belt evangelists.
(d) Sweet, young ladies amid a bunch of old men.

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

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

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

10. What was "lamentable" about the North beating the South in the Civil War, according to Mencken?
(a) The slaves were freed.
(b) The quality of tobacco was never the same.
(c) The South's aristocracy was destroyed.
(d) Technological innovation was delayed by 25 years.

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

12. What did Mencken call for in "Mencken's Last Stand"?
(a) An end to segregation.
(b) A more intelligent approach to chiropractic.
(c) For president Harry S. Truman to resign.
(d) For the world to leave him alone.

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

14. Why did Mencken call democracy a "self-limiting disease"?
(a) Members of the Democratic Party inflict damage on themselves through numerous scandals.
(b) Democracy does damage, but the damage it can do is limited.
(c) Democracy is able to place limits on the power of politicians.
(d) Democracy achieves equality, and once equality is achieved, democracy has nothing to accomplish.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Who was Mencken with at a Bach concert in Pennsylvania when he decided to get some liquor?

2. According to Mencken, what if there had not been a Civil War in the United States?

3. In "Travail," how did the boys going to school in the morning seem to Mencken?

4. Why, according to Mencken, do virtuous people end up sinning the worst?

5. What was the subject of "A Good Man Gone Wrong"?

(see the answer keys)

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