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. What might Mencken say about a writer's sense of beauty?
(a) Beauty is irrelevant to the writer, who must deal with cold, hard facts.
(b) The writer has a profound sense of beauty.
(c) The writer has an average sense of beauty.
(d) The writer has a very poor sense of beauty.

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

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

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

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

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

7. Which of the following was NOT a name applied to William Jennings Bryan by Mencken?
(a) Fly-catcher.
(b) Mountebank.
(c) Charlatan.
(d) Yellow-bellied sapsucker.

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

9. 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 starved for attention.
(c) The writer is a hypochondriac.
(d) The writer is in it for the money.

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

11. What point did Mencken make when referring to the picture of a French soldier who was deformed with multiple amputations in war?
(a) Mencken thought it was terribly sad that the man will not be able to walk into heaven.
(b) The French were brave people, indeed.
(c) The soldier made the noblest of sacrifices, and will be remembered forever.
(d) Mencken imagined that the soldier likely sought a glorious death in battle, but now has to live life in a pathetic state.

12. What memorable simile did Mencken use for Grover Cleveland?
(a) Cleveland was like a steel ship loaded with monoliths of granite.
(b) Cleveland was like a crocodile waiting to snap his jaws around the American public.
(c) Cleveland was like a fragile butterfly with wings of dynamite.
(d) Cleveland was like a newborn babe gazing at the stars for the first time.

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

14. Which was NOT a challenge to the schoolboy Mencken mentioned in "Travail"?
(a) They were taught lessons no one has an interest in.
(b) They were forced to be babysat against their will.
(c) They were taught by teachers they don't respect.
(d) They were trying to learn things that are above their intellectual ability.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What did Mencken conclude in his examination of rulings in "Mr. Justice Holmes"?

3. What was the subject of the Scopes monkey trial?

4. What was Mencken's attitude toward Grover Cleveland?

5. What city was featured in "The Libido for the Ugly"?

(see the answer keys)

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