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. To what degree has "new architecture" impacted America?
(a) It has come to dominate America, much to Mencken's delight.
(b) It has come to dominate America, much to Mencken's chagrin.
(c) It has not had much of an impact.
(d) It hasn't reached American shores yet, and Mencken pleads with Europe to let America "borrow" it.

2. What was unique to the American psyche according to Mencken in "Libido for the Ugly"?
(a) A queer fascination with ugliness.
(b) A tendency to be rude and loud during movie screenings.
(c) Sexual arousal when viewing art objects.
(d) An obsession with staying thin.

3. 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 achieves equality, and once equality is achieved, democracy has nothing to accomplish.
(d) Democracy is able to place limits on the power of politicians.

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

5. What was Mencken's attitude toward Grover Cleveland?
(a) Enjoyment at his suffering.
(b) Great admiration.
(c) Contempt for his policies.
(d) Smug pity.

6. 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) Technological innovation was delayed by 25 years.
(c) The South's aristocracy was destroyed.
(d) The slaves were freed.

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

8. What was Roosevelt's strategy at the Democratic National Convention of 1932?
(a) He wished to delay as much as possible, and honor every minor parliamentary procedure.
(b) He wished to bribe key officials for the nomination.
(c) Roosevelt had a comic struggle to obtain the highest podium, so he might look the tallest.
(d) He wished to rush motions through and bypass parliamentary procedures.

9. Which of the following describes an Anglo-Saxon soldier, according to Mencken?
(a) A strong sense of tactics as well as strategy.
(b) A tendency to be able to bore the enemy to death with a long speech.
(c) A cowardice and ready willingness to desert.
(d) A remarkable physical constitution.

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

11. What aspect of old-time education did Mencken miss most in modern education?
(a) Corporal punishment.
(b) The tolling of the dinner triangle.
(c) The charm of the one-room schoolhouse.
(d) The insistence on only male teachers.

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

13. 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 a very poor sense of beauty.
(d) The writer has an average sense of beauty.

14. 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 woman warned against reading books.
(c) The preacher began to speak in tongues.
(d) A young woman went into convulsions.

15. Which was one of the architectural styles Mencken mentioned as part of the "new architecture"?
(a) American colonial.
(b) Modernism.
(c) Victorian.
(d) Cubism.

Short Answer Questions

1. Complete the following aphorism found in "Sententiae": "Adultery is..."

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

3. How did Mencken appraise Valentino in their dinner meeting?

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

5. What would best describe how Mencken felt about stage acting?

(see the answer keys)

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