J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography Test | Mid-Book 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. The small sum of money that had been invested by Arthur would only bring an income of ___________________ per week, an amount that is barely enough to sustain the family at the poverty level.

2. How does Ronald feel the moment he sets foot on campus?

3. At this point Carpenter introduces __________, a friend of Tolkien's and popular lecturer on medieval studies.

4. What was Ronald's group of friends and fellow students unofficially named?

5. St. Philip's is not the best school for the boys and eventually Ronald wins a scholarship to where?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Mabel feel about Bloemfontein? How does she act in regards to her feelings? Why does she act this way?

2. For how long has Mabel Suffield been engaged to Arthur Tolkien? Why could she not marry him earlier?

3. Why is Mabel worried about providing for her children?

4. What did Tolkien do when he returned to Oxford?

5. What are the first two languages Tolkien creates? Describe them.

6. How do many people question Tolkien in regards to his mythology and devout Catholic faith? What is Tolkien's response?

7. What did G.B. Smith's words, "May you say the things I have tried to say long after I am not there to say them," do for Ronald?

8. What did members of Exeter College think of Ronald when he came in second place?

9. What does Ronald do without Edith in his life?

10. How does Ronald spend his final year at King Edward's?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

THE HOBBIT was a success.

Part 1) Why was it successful? What contributed to this success?

Part 2) To what did this success lead? How did this success affect Tolkien and his family? What challenges did Tolkien face when writing and publishing this book? How does this foreshadow his experiences with "The Lord of the Rings?"

Part 3) What success have you had in your own life? To what can you contribute this? How did this success alter you?

Essay Topic 2

Tolkien was desperate to have THE SILMARRILION published.

Part 1) What is THE SILMARRILION? Why was he so desperate to have it published? Why does this desperation reinforce in Tolkien's character? What does it also reveal?

Part 2) What did others think about this work? Why did they feel this way?

Part 3) What in your own life is important? Why is it important? What does this reveal about you?

Essay Topic 3

By and large, Edith was unhappy when Ronald was immersed in his work at Oxford.

Part 1) Why does this unhappiness occur? How does Edith deal with this unhappiness? What does this reveal about her?

Part 2) How does her early life with Ronald compare to her life throughout their marriage? What role does Ronald play in her unhappiness? Is he entirely to blame? Why or why not?

Part 3) Should they have married? Why or why not? Would they have still married if they had known their marriage would be as it was? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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