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. What was Calvin Coolidge's chief trait, according to Mencken?

2. Who started chiropractic, according to Mencken?

3. What did Mencken call for in "Mencken's Last Stand"?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In articles like "The Baltimore of the Eighties," Mencken looks back on his childhood. What attitude does Mencken have toward childhood? How did his childhood impact the man he became? Why is it valuable to take this look back?

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

Beauty and ugliness were topics of the articles "The Lure of Beauty" and "The Libido of the Ugly."

A) How does Mencken define beauty? How is beauty related to art criticism?

B) Is beauty objective or subjective? Cite examples in the text of how Mencken might answer this question.

C) How is beauty related to physical attraction?

(see the answer keys)

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