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

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

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

4. What did Mencken attribute to the fall of the "good man" in "A Good Man Gone Wrong"?
(a) An "unspeakable force in the universe."
(b) A Presbyterian upbringing.
(c) A runaway automobile.
(d) A nagging housewife.

5. What was the subject of the Scopes monkey trial?
(a) The assault of a zoo heckler by a gorilla.
(b) The teaching of evolution.
(c) A treasonous plot to help a Central American country.
(d) The kidnapping of a chimpanzee.

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

7. What did Mencken conclude in his examination of rulings in "Mr. Justice Holmes"?
(a) Justice Holmes ruled too often in favor of the powers that be, rather than the people.
(b) Justice Holmes rendered fantastically bizarre rulings, and should be impeached.
(c) Mencken slyly suggests Holmes should tuck chickens under his arms because of his chicken-like cowardice.
(d) Justice Holmes ruled too often for rabble-rousers, and not often enough for the aristocracy.

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

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

10. 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) Technological innovation was delayed by 25 years.
(d) The slaves were freed.

11. 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.

12. 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.

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

14. Why was early Christianity superior to modern Christianity, per "Holy Writ"?
(a) It featured a lot less sermonizing.
(b) Services took place in cold places, to ensure better concentration.
(c) Early Christianity had a less strict interpretation of Biblical stories.
(d) It featured more moral instructions.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. According to "Exeunt Omnes," Mencken was disappointed with the amount of books dedicated to which subject?

2. What was the nature of the analogy Mencken uses involving Oliver Wendell Holmes, a hammer, and a feather?

3. How did Mencken describe the music of Bach?

4. What criticism did Mencken have for a book filled with sayings and writings about death?

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

(see the answer keys)

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