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 would best describe how Mencken felt about stage acting?

2. Which was NOT a challenge to the schoolboy Mencken mentioned in "Travail"?

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

4. What was the art discussed in "The Comedian"?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What examples did Mencken provide to support his judgment of Anglo-Saxons?

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

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

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

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

6. What was the content of "Sententiae"?

7. What opinions did Mencken render in "Masters of Tone"?

8. In "Exeunt Omnes," Mencken described his second book on death, which has collected sayings and thoughts on death. What did Mencken maintain was the main idea of the book?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

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

Mencken mused about death in "Exeunt Omnes."

A) What was the aspect of death which interested Mencken the most?

B) How might "Exeunt Omnes" help us understand Mencken's anti-war stance? How does Mencken's attitude toward death relate to his anti-war stance?

C) Per Mencken's own apparent attitude, what might Mencken tell his readers is the best attitude to have toward death and mortality?

(see the answer keys)

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