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 the general atmosphere of the Democratic National Convention of 1932, as reported by Mencken?
(a) Like Mafia men meeting at a restaurant, as the politicians are all corrupt.
(b) Stuffy and mannered.
(c) A complete circus.
(d) Quiet, like a gentlemen's club.

2. What problem did Mencken have with Justice Holmes' final court case?
(a) The case was a clear violation of freedom from double jeopardy.
(b) The case violated the writ of Habeus Corpus.
(c) Holmes delivered an hour-long, and completely unnecessary, speech when rendering his verdict.
(d) The case involved a tainted jury pool.

3. How do common folk read the Bible, according to Mencken in "Holy Writ"?
(a) They are fooled by its beautiful prose, and pay no attention to the ideas behind the words.
(b) They read it, but find nothing to relate to their personal experience.
(c) They don't read the Bible at all, and are illiterate fools.
(d) They find it hilarious, for some strange reason.

4. Who was Mencken with at a Bach concert in Pennsylvania when he decided to get some liquor?
(a) Alfred Knopf.
(b) Henry Cabot Lodge.
(c) Gene the magistrate.
(d) Woodrow Wilson.

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

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

7. What would best describe how Mencken felt about stage acting?
(a) It stabs at the soul with genuine feeling.
(b) Like portrait painting, stage acting provides a window into the truth.
(c) It is completely unworthy of the price of admission.
(d) It gladdens the heart with falsity.

8. Which was NOT a challenge to the schoolboy Mencken mentioned in "Travail"?
(a) They were taught by teachers they don't respect.
(b) They were taught lessons no one has an interest in.
(c) They were trying to learn things that are above their intellectual ability.
(d) They were forced to be babysat against their will.

9. 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.

10. What was the source of Oliver Wendell Holmes' allure?
(a) His ability to bribe officials at every level of government.
(b) His eloquent, epigrammatic writing style.
(c) His ability to stick to the facts and write sound legal opinions.
(d) His personal charisma and sometimes outrageous court antics.

11. What was Mencken's epitaph?
(a) Wink your eye at some homely girl.
(b) Remember what I said, not what I did.
(c) Give your mother a kiss, for me.
(d) This gravestone may alternately be used as a paperweight.

12. Which of the following was NOT an attribute of an artist, as Mencken describes in "The Artist"?
(a) The artist is patriotic.
(b) The artist turns against his country and countrymen.
(c) The artist is more sensitive to his environment than normal people.
(d) The artist is more easily wounded.

13. What did Mencken mean by the term "Ku Kluxry"?
(a) Racism.
(b) Cultural superiority.
(c) Dressing in silly clothes.
(d) Bedsheets.

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

15. What was the art discussed in "The Comedian"?
(a) Pantomime.
(b) Stage acting.
(c) Street musicianship.
(d) Television situational comedy.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. Which of the following might Mencken say about Calvin Coolidge?

3. Why might the Anglo-Saxon race have entered into the Spanish-American war, according to Mencken?

4. According to Mencken, why was Samuel Johnson unique as an artist?

5. What was Mencken's attitude toward Grover Cleveland?

(see the answer keys)

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