The Vintage Mencken Test | Lesson Plans Final Test - Hard

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Final Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. How was Mencken able to get a taxi driver to drive him to a speakeasy in Pennsylvania?

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

3. Who was Mencken with at a Bach concert in Pennsylvania when he decided to get some liquor?

4. In "The Hills of Zion," why did a woman warn against the reading of books?

5. What aspect of old-time education did Mencken miss most in modern education?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

The nature of art, and especially of writing, is a subject that concerned Mencken.

A) What argument does Mencken make in "The Artist"? How is this argument related to Mencken's anti-war stance?

B) What argument does Mencken make in "The Author at Work"? How are we to reconcile his argument with the fact that, naturally, Mencken is himself a writer?

Essay Topic 3

Mencken often commented on political figures, such as in "Pater Patriae" and "Lodge."

A) Discuss two articles in which Mencken seems to have a positive opinion of the political figure. What does Mencken's admiration tell us about Mencken?

B) Discuss two articles in which Mencken displays a negative opinion of the political figure. Similar to A), what does Mencken's criticisms tell us about Mencken?

(see the answer keys)

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