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

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) An obsession with staying thin.
(d) Sexual arousal when viewing art objects.

3. 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.

4. Which of the following is a trait of the Anglo-Saxon race, per "The Anglo-Saxon"?
(a) Cultural superiority.
(b) Weak will.
(c) Bravery.
(d) Intelligence.

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

6. 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 trying to learn things that are above their intellectual ability.
(c) They were forced to be babysat against their will.
(d) They were taught by teachers they don't respect.

7. What was the subject of Mencken's final published article?
(a) A horse robbery.
(b) The "newest quackery" of household appliances.
(c) The murder of an adulterous housewife.
(d) A court case tinged with racism.

8. 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 threatened the driver with jail time.
(c) He agreed to write an article about the driver.
(d) He gave the driver a ten dollar bill.

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

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

11. 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 blinded by his hatred for FDR.
(c) He was a complete political rookie.
(d) He was ruined by a scandal involving adultery.

12. Which was NOT a reason Mencken used in his assessment that houses are ugly in "The Libido for the Ugly"?
(a) The houses were painted yellow.
(b) The houses had awkward, skinny chimneys.
(c) The houses were shabby and dilapidated.
(d) The houses were structurally misshapen.

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

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

15. In "Valentino," what did the press find in a men's bathroom that caused them to mock Valentino and his "Latin Lover" image?
(a) Pink talcum-powder.
(b) A bar of lavender-scented soap-on-a-rope.
(c) Underwear with a hole in it.
(d) Women's perfume.

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. Who was FDR's chief opponent in the Democratic Convention of 1932?

4. What did Mencken call for in "Mencken's Last Stand"?

5. What was Mencken's current opinion of the American South, as revealed in "The Calamity of Appomattox"?

(see the answer keys)

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