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 problem did Mencken have with Justice Holmes' final court case?

2. What was the general atmosphere of the Democratic National Convention of 1932, as reported by Mencken?

3. What did Mencken attribute to the fall of the "good man" in "A Good Man Gone Wrong"?

4. Which of the following did NOT happen during "The Hills of Zion"?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What opinion was rendered about William Jennings Bryan in "In Memoriam: W.J.B."?

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

6. What were the general features of Anglo-Saxons, according to Mencken in "The Anglo-Saxon"?

7. What aspect of death interested Mencken the most?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mencken often mentions the idea of an American aristocracy, as in "The National Letters." What could an American aristocracy accomplish, to Mencken's mind? How does Mencken's ideas for the aristocracy relate to his opinions about intellectuals versus common people? What kinds of government systems does he compare the aristocracy to?

Essay Topic 2

Beauty and ugliness were topics of the articles "The Lure of Beauty" and "The Libido of the Ugly."

A) How does Mencken define beauty? How is beauty related to art criticism?

B) Is beauty objective or subjective? Cite examples in the text of how Mencken might answer this question.

C) How is beauty related to physical attraction?

Essay Topic 3

Like any accomplished columnist, Mencken knew how to tell a good story, as in "The Noble Experiment" and "The Hills of Zion."

A) What agenda, if any, did Mencken have in sharing the stories of "The Noble Experiment"? Use examples from the text.

B) What agenda, if any, did Mencken have in sharing the story of "The Hills of Zion"? Use examples from the text.

(see the answer keys)

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