The Vintage Mencken Test | Final Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. 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 fragile butterfly with wings of dynamite.
(c) Cleveland was like a newborn babe gazing at the stars for the first time.
(d) Cleveland was like a crocodile waiting to snap his jaws around the American public.

2. What was Mencken's phrase for religious fundamentalism?
(a) "The Shepherd's Porridge."
(b) "That Old-Time Religion."
(c) "Ye Olde Honest Truth."
(d) "The Fluff of the Flock."

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

4. In "Travail," how did the boys going to school in the morning seem to Mencken?
(a) Upbeat and joyous.
(b) Like they might someday conquer the world.
(c) Tired and sad.
(d) Energetic and hopeful.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. To what degree has "new architecture" impacted America?

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

5. What was the point of the section, "Sententiae"?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why are artists "anti-patriotic," according to Mencken in "The Artist"?

2. What caused Mencken to question the American psyche in "The Libido for the Ugly"?

3. How was FDR able to win the Democratic National Convention of 1932?

4. What stance did Mencken take in "Mencken's Last Stand"?

5. According to "The Author at Work," why do writers write?

6. What was Mencken's opinion of chiropractic?

7. What was the nature of film actor Valentino's problem, as related in "Valentino"?

8. Describe the religious service Mencken witnessed in "The Hills of Zion."

9. What was Mencken's opinion of stage acting?

10. Contemporaries wrote that Calvin Coolidge bore several similarities to Abraham Lincoln. Why did Mencken disagree with this claim?

(see the answer keys)

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