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 did Mencken call for in "Mencken's Last Stand"?
(a) For president Harry S. Truman to resign.
(b) For the world to leave him alone.
(c) An end to segregation.
(d) A more intelligent approach to chiropractic.

2. What was Calvin Coolidge's chief trait, according to Mencken?
(a) "A great appetite for jams and jellies."
(b) "Self-induced narcolepsy."
(c) "A terrific ability to arrive at the wrong place, but at the right time."
(d) "A hide as tough as a rhinoceros, and a horn to match."

3. Why might the Anglo-Saxon race have entered into the Spanish-American war, according to Mencken?
(a) The war protected vital interests in the Caribbean.
(b) It was a war they were sure to win.
(c) They were courageous and foolhardy.
(d) They knew they could seize the Spanish crown.

4. What was the nature of the analogy Mencken uses involving Oliver Wendell Holmes, a hammer, and a feather?
(a) Holmes touched the sky with feathers, and then built a castle in the sky with a hammer.
(b) Holmes stuffed a mattress with feathers, but then beat the mattress flat with a hammer.
(c) Holmes tickled with feathers, but never punished with a hammer.
(d) Holmes wrote with a feather (quill), but legislated with a hammer.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Mencken, what if there had not been a Civil War in the United States?

2. What aspect of death did Mencken find most interesting?

3. What was the subject of Mencken's final published article?

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

5. In "Valentino," what did the press find in a men's bathroom that caused them to mock Valentino and his "Latin Lover" image?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Mencken miss corporal punishment in schools in "Travail"?

2. What did Mencken feel were the true and most damaging consequences of the Civil War, according to "The Calamity of Appomattox"?

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

4. What opinions did Mencken render in "Masters of Tone"?

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

6. What type of people attended the Progressive Party convention of 1948?

7. What was the content of "Sententiae"?

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

9. Why did Mencken take issue with Oliver Wendell Holmes' final court case?

10. Did Mencken's aesthetics conform to the ideals of the "new architecture"? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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