The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. As Tolkien explains in Letter #131, what motivates The Enemy in his stories?
(a) Evil intentions.
(b) Complicated intentions.
(c) Unknown intentions.
(d) Good intentions.

2. How long is Tolkien separated from Edith, making his affection for her grow stronger?
(a) One year.
(b) Two years.
(c) Three years.
(d) Four years.

3. In describing the power of the pen, what aspect of fiction writing does Tolkien refer to when explaining his own writing process and the way he invents characters?
(a) The predictability of it.
(b) The unpredictability of it.
(c) The extensive research done before writing.
(d) The extensive reading of other fiction done before writing.

4. Who is the person that Tolkien thanks, and is the recipient of Letter #130?
(a) Milton Waldman.
(b) Humphrey Carpenter.
(c) Rayner Unwin.
(d) George Allen.

5. In Letter #130, what distinction does Tolkien make about the artificial languages he creates for his books?
(a) They are the opposite of an actual real life language.
(b) They are never used in real life.
(c) They are seldom used in real life.
(d) They are a combination of two real-life languages.

Short Answer Questions

1. In Letter #131, what reason does Tolkien reveal for creating his alternate world of fiction?

2. What will the alteration mean for the book Tolkien is writing in Letter #128?

3. When does the history of the Elves begin?

4. What do the letters selected for "To Unwin about The Hobbit" have in common?

5. During the time these letters are written, what term do the British typically use to label Americans?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Tolkien refer to The Hobbit in his early letters to Christopher?

2. How does Tolkien characterize Sauron in Letter #131?

3. In Letters #66 and #69, how is Tolkien's relationship with Christopher defined?

4. How is Tolkien's proficiency in writing displayed in the story he tells to Christopher in his April 3, 1944, letter?

5. How does Tolkien explain the role of humans and mankind in his stories in Letter #131?

6. What clarification does Tolkien make about the word, "Elves"?

7. What is unique about Tolkien's poem, "Errantry"?

8. What is the power of the pen and how does Tolkien explain it?

9. How does Tolkien write about being given the position of chairing the English department at the university?

10. What is the similarity between the Elves and the Machine, and what is the main difference between both sides, according to Tolkien in Letter #131?

(see the answer keys)

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