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

2. What might Mencken say about a writer's sense of beauty?
(a) The writer has a very poor sense of beauty.
(b) The writer has a profound sense of beauty.
(c) The writer has an average sense of beauty.
(d) Beauty is irrelevant to the writer, who must deal with cold, hard facts.

3. 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 culturally superior place.
(c) It was a lightning-rod of controversy.
(d) It was a culturally inferior place.

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

5. What would best describe Mencken's attitude toward Oliver Wendell Holmes?
(a) His rulings were thoroughly corrupt.
(b) He was a fantastic advocate of progressive causes.
(c) He was a quack chiropractor.
(d) He was a Liberal hero in name only.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was Calvin Coolidge's chief trait, according to Mencken?

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

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

4. How was plutocracy created, according to Mencken?

5. According to "Exeunt Omnes," Mencken was disappointed with the amount of books dedicated to which subject?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How did Mencken--with tongue firmly in cheek--try to justify a man's murdering of his wife in "A Good Man Gone Wrong"?

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

5. In "The Noble Experiment," what story did Mencken relate about acquiring alcohol at the Republican National Convention?

6. What did Mencken conclude about his research into the court cases of Oliver Wendell Holmes?

7. How did Mencken distinguish between plutocracy and aristocracy in "A Glance Ahead"?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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