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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What was the flaw of FDR's opponent in the Democratic National Convention of 1932?
(a) He was ruined by a scandal involving adultery.
(b) He was blinded by his hatred for FDR.
(c) He was a complete political rookie.
(d) He was too old, and he looked like a mummy next to FDR.

8. Complete the following aphorism found in "Sententiae": "Adultery is..."
(a) "...like a marriage with a bad cold."
(b) "...the application of democracy to love."
(c) "...a willingness to get what's yours."
(d) "...the destruction of love, life, and money."

9. Complete the following aphorism found in "Sententiae": "Democracy is..."
(a) "...the application of love to money. Everybody's love."
(b) "...the Declaration of Independence after a trip to the dentist for a full root canal."
(c) "...the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
(d) "...the weapon waved by the fairer sex."

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

11. How was plutocracy created, according to Mencken?
(a) From a desperate and starving peasant class.
(b) Through dictatorial grabs for power.
(c) From the corrupting influence of money.
(d) From the ruins of proper aristocracy.

12. Who started chiropractic, according to Mencken?
(a) Andrew Still.
(b) William Jennings Bryan.
(c) Alistair Cooke.
(d) Dr. William Bayle Howard.

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

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

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What theoretical scenario did Mencken pose in "The Calamity of Appomattox"?

3. What was the function of the Bill of Rights, per "Mr. Justice Holmes"?

4. What was the general atmosphere of the Democratic National Convention of 1932, as reported by Mencken?

5. What event did Mencken cover in "The Wallace Paranoia"?

(see the answer keys)

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