The Vintage Mencken Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Which of the following is a trait of the Anglo-Saxon race, per "The Anglo-Saxon"?

2. According to Mencken, why was Samuel Johnson unique as an artist?

3. What was the function of the Bill of Rights, per "Mr. Justice Holmes"?

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

5. What was the result of Mencken's attempt to trace the lineage of the Anglo-Saxon race?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mencken discussed perfection in "The Good Man," and states that every good quality in a man is balanced by a flaw.

A) Does Mencken feel that perfection is possible? How can "The Good Man" be reconciled with something like "A Glance Ahead," in which Mencken imagines an ideal government?

B) Is there a danger in attempting perfection?

C) What might Mencken say about perfection and its relation to organized religion?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

What was Mencken's perspective on education? Is there a difference between education done in school, and education derived from "real life" so to speak? How does Mencken view his lack of a college education? What does Mencken see as the problem with modern school-based education?

(see the answer keys)

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