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 did Mencken conclude in his examination of rulings in "Mr. Justice Holmes"?

2. What was the subject of the Scopes monkey trial?

3. What did Mencken attribute to the fall of the "good man" in "A Good Man Gone Wrong"?

4. According to "The New Architecture," when will Man have "built his own prison"?

5. What was the flaw of FDR's opponent in the Democratic National Convention of 1932?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

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

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

7. What caused Mencken to question the American psyche in "The Libido for the Ugly"?

8. What aspect of death interested Mencken the most?

9. For what reasons did Mencken admire Grover Cleveland?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Mencken often mentions the idea of an American aristocracy, as in "The National Letters." What could an American aristocracy accomplish, to Mencken's mind? How does Mencken's ideas for the aristocracy relate to his opinions about intellectuals versus common people? What kinds of government systems does he compare the aristocracy to?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

Mencken was interested in reviving an American intellectual movement.

A) Who were the forefathers of this movement? What texts are important?

B) What does Mencken feel is the current state of the American intellectual movement?

C) What can be done to further the movement?

(see the answer keys)

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