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

2. What was NOT a feature of chiropractors, according to "Chiropractic"?
(a) They did no good, and may in fact cause harm.
(b) They were retired baseball players or piano movers.
(c) They had a good deal of anatomical knowledge.
(d) They were quacks.

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

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

5. What might Mencken say about a writer's sense of beauty?
(a) The writer has a profound sense of beauty.
(b) The writer has a very poor 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.

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

7. Why did Mencken curse those who translated the Bible into English?
(a) They misinterpreted the principles of Jesus Christ.
(b) They made many factual errors.
(c) They made a host of grammatical errors.
(d) They made the prose overly flowery and beautiful.

8. Which is the best style of architecture, according to Mencken?
(a) Art Nouveau.
(b) Futurism.
(c) English Eighteenth Century.
(d) Modernism.

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

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

11. What was Mencken's current opinion of the American South, as revealed in "The Calamity of Appomattox"?
(a) It was a culturally inferior place.
(b) It was an economic powerhouse.
(c) It was a lightning-rod of controversy.
(d) It was a culturally superior place.

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

13. According to Mencken, why was Samuel Johnson unique as an artist?
(a) He always gave to charity, and artists are infamous misers.
(b) He never turned against his country, unlike all artists.
(c) He never cared about his own fame or legacy.
(d) He has a particularly thrilling prose style.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What was the subject of "The Noble Experiment"?

3. How do common folk read the Bible, according to Mencken in "Holy Writ"?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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