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. Complete the following aphorism found in "Sententiae": "Adultery is..."

2. Why was early Christianity superior to modern Christianity, per "Holy Writ"?

3. What was NOT a feature of chiropractors, according to "Chiropractic"?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. For what reasons did Mencken admire Grover Cleveland?

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

3. What opinion did Mencken have about the English translation of the Bible?

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

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

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

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

8. What was the content of "Sententiae"?

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

10. Contemporaries wrote that Calvin Coolidge bore several similarities to Abraham Lincoln. Why did Mencken disagree with this claim?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"Gore in the Caribees" had Mencken doing some foreign reporting in Cuba.

A) What is Mencken's opinion of the Cuban administration? What is his opinion of the rebellion?

B) What can the incident tell us about Mencken's general opinions about ideal government, and how to rule properly?

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

Man-woman relationships were a frequent topic of study, as in "The Art Eternal" and "The Incomparable Buzz-Saw." How does Mencken view the dynamic between men and women? What are the differences between men and women? In what way do men and women engage in courtship?

(see the answer keys)

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