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 did Mencken describe the music of Puccini?
(a) "A dozen wind chimes in a hurricane."
(b) "Silver macaroni, exquisitely tangled."
(c) "Two embalmers at work upon a minor poet."
(d) "Two intertwined dogs yapping at each other."

2. According to "Exeunt Omnes," Mencken was disappointed with the amount of books dedicated to which subject?
(a) Taxes.
(b) Adultery.
(c) Death.
(d) Democracy.

3. Why might the Anglo-Saxon race have entered into the Spanish-American war, according to Mencken?
(a) They knew they could seize the Spanish crown.
(b) It was a war they were sure to win.
(c) They were courageous and foolhardy.
(d) The war protected vital interests in the Caribbean.

4. What was the nature of the analogy Mencken uses involving Oliver Wendell Holmes, a hammer, and a feather?
(a) Holmes touched the sky with feathers, and then built a castle in the sky with a hammer.
(b) Holmes tickled with feathers, but never punished with a hammer.
(c) Holmes wrote with a feather (quill), but legislated with a hammer.
(d) Holmes stuffed a mattress with feathers, but then beat the mattress flat with a hammer.

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

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

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

8. What was the result of Mencken's attempt to trace the lineage of the Anglo-Saxon race?
(a) It was too complicated, and he gave up.
(b) Mencken claimed, sarcastically, that he himself represents the apex of the race.
(c) He pointed out that the race was never the same after a battle in 1066.
(d) He traced it to a tribe in Western Africa.

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

10. How did Mencken appraise Valentino in their dinner meeting?
(a) Valentino was a genius who would be better suited as a scientist or engineer.
(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 noble soul questioning his vulgar acting profession.

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

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

13. What was the flaw of FDR's opponent in the Democratic National Convention of 1932?
(a) He was too old, and he looked like a mummy next to FDR.
(b) He was a complete political rookie.
(c) He was blinded by his hatred for FDR.
(d) He was ruined by a scandal involving adultery.

14. According to Mencken, what if there had not been a Civil War in the United States?
(a) The South would have been devastated economically.
(b) The South would have retained slavery as an institution.
(c) The South would have gotten rid of slavery anyway.
(d) The South would be a desolate place full of "cow towns" with no culture.

15. How did Mencken describe the music of Bach?
(a) "Genesis I, I"
(b) "Heaven upon a creamy macaroon."
(c) "The Deaf leading the Equally-Deaf."
(d) "Silver macaroni, exquisitely tangled."

Short Answer Questions

1. Who were the two attorneys in the Scopes monkey trial?

2. Which of the following describes an Anglo-Saxon soldier, according to Mencken?

3. What aspect of death did Mencken find most interesting?

4. What memorable simile did Mencken use for Grover Cleveland?

5. What was the point of the section, "Sententiae"?

(see the answer keys)

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