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. Why, according to Mencken, do virtuous people end up sinning the worst?
(a) Virtuous people do difficult work, and this work drives them insane.
(b) The virtuous don't know how to handle sin, and thus get carried away.
(c) To be "virtuous" is a lie: the virtuous are among the most sinful among us.
(d) Virtuous people give of themselves so much, they are empty inside.

2. Which of the following might Mencken say about Calvin Coolidge?
(a) Coolidge was a practical agnostic.
(b) Coolidge was as energetic a man as ever graced the White House.
(c) Coolidge was deeply flawed, precisely because of his Presbyterian upbringing.
(d) Coolidge pulled himself up from the most meager of upbringings.

3. What was Mencken's general opinion of religion at the end of "Holy Writ"?
(a) Religion is a pretty silly business.
(b) Religion is a great good, and responsible for much of what is good in civilization.
(c) Religion is valuable, but flawed.
(d) Religion is evil, and should be outlawed.

4. What theoretical scenario did Mencken pose in "The Calamity of Appomattox"?
(a) Mencken imagines if Europe had never recovered from World War I, and was a smoldering ruin.
(b) Mencken imagines if the North had surrendered in the Civil War instead of the South.
(c) Mencken imagines if the Civil War had never taken place, and the South had slaves to this day.
(d) Mencken imagines a world in which the deli counter always got his sandwich order right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Who were the two attorneys in the Scopes monkey trial?
(a) William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow.
(b) Theodore Dreiser and John Pershing.
(c) Clarence Darrow and Henry Cabot Lodge.
(d) William Jennings Bryan and Andrew Still.

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. According to "The New Architecture," when will Man have "built his own prison"?

2. Which of the following was NOT an attribute of an artist, as Mencken describes in "The Artist"?

3. How did Mencken describe the music of Puccini?

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

5. What was unique to the American psyche according to Mencken in "Libido for the Ugly"?

(see the answer keys)

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