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

2. What theoretical scenario did Mencken pose in "The Calamity of Appomattox"?

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

4. What was the point of the section, "Sententiae"?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the content of "Sententiae"?

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

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

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

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

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

7. According to Mencken in "The Calamity of Appomattox," what would have happened if the Civil War had never happened?

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

9. According to "The Wallace Paranoia," what did candidate Henry Wallace do during the convention of the Progressive Party?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A modern controversy swirled around the issue of whether or not Mencken was a racist.

A) What might the article "Anglo-Saxon" tell us about settling the issue of Mencken's racism?

B) What might the article "The Calamity of Appomattox" tell us about settling the issue of Mencken's racism?

C) How does Mencken's frequent sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek tone complicate this controversy?

Essay Topic 2

Democracy was mentioned in "A Blind Spot" and "A Glance Ahead," among other articles. What is Mencken's attitude toward democracy? What are the consequences of a democratic form of government? How does democracy succeed (or fail) because of (or despite) the common people?

Essay Topic 3

Religion was the frequent target of Mencken's attacks, such as in "Quid Est Veritas?" and "Holy Writ."

A) Why is religion dangerous, according to Mencken? Cite specific examples in the texts.

B) Can religion be salvaged somehow, to Mencken's mind, or is religion universally bad?

C) Describe fundamentalism, and discuss how fundamentalism factors in to Mencken's religious views.

(see the answer keys)

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