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 was the result of Mencken's attempt to trace the lineage of the Anglo-Saxon race?
(a) Mencken claimed, sarcastically, that he himself represents the apex of the race.
(b) He traced it to a tribe in Western Africa.
(c) He pointed out that the race was never the same after a battle in 1066.
(d) It was too complicated, and he gave up.

2. Why, according to Mencken, do virtuous people end up sinning the worst?
(a) Virtuous people do difficult work, and this work drives them insane.
(b) To be "virtuous" is a lie: the virtuous are among the most sinful among us.
(c) The virtuous don't know how to handle sin, and thus get carried away.
(d) Virtuous people give of themselves so much, they are empty inside.

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

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

5. 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 involved a tainted jury pool.
(c) Holmes delivered an hour-long, and completely unnecessary, speech when rendering his verdict.
(d) The case violated the writ of Habeus Corpus.

Short Answer Questions

1. What memorable simile did Mencken use for Grover Cleveland?

2. Why did Valentino invite Mencken to dinner?

3. Which was NOT a reason Mencken used in his assessment that houses are ugly in "The Libido for the Ugly"?

4. What city was featured in "The Libido for the Ugly"?

5. How was plutocracy created, according to Mencken?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. For what reasons did Mencken admire Grover Cleveland?

3. According to "The Wallace Paranoia," what did candidate Henry Wallace do during the convention of the Progressive Party?

4. What examples did Mencken provide to support his judgment of Anglo-Saxons?

5. What opinion did Mencken have about the English translation of the Bible?

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

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

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

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

10. According to Mencken in "The Calamity of Appomattox," what would have happened if the Civil War had never happened?

(see the answer keys)

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