The Vintage Mencken Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What event did Mencken cover in "The Wallace Paranoia"?

3. What was NOT a feature of chiropractors, according to "Chiropractic"?

4. What would best describe how Mencken felt about stage acting?

5. What was Mencken's current opinion of the American South, as revealed in "The Calamity of Appomattox"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. What aspect of death interested Mencken the most?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mencken could be said to operate from an anti-war stance, as in "Star-Spangled Man."

A) How does Mencken make this bias clear? Cite examples from the text.

B) What is Mencken's opinion of World War I? How was the war started? Why might it have been prevented?

C) Is Mencken's anti-war bias explicit or implicit? Cite examples.

Essay Topic 2

Mencken's style and tone are widely celebrated. Using several examples from the text, discuss Mencken's approach to style and tone. How does Mencken present himself to the reader? Who does he posit as his reader? What rhetorical devices does he use to persuade the reader of his position?

Essay Topic 3

Man-woman relationships were a frequent topic of study, as in "The Art Eternal" and "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw." How does Mencken view the dynamic between men and women? What are the differences between men and women? In what way do men and women engage in courtship?

(see the answer keys)

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