The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien 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. As stated in "The Professor," when are The Lord of the Rings books officially published?

2. What is the result of a friendship between the Elves and the Dwarves, as Tolkien explains in Letter #131?

3. Which poem does Rayner Unwin initially write to Tolkien about?

4. In what year are the earliest letters in the book written?

5. With whom does Tolkien work in order to avoid the responsibilities of chairing the English department?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How can the One Ring of Power be destroyed?

3. What are galleys in literature and how does Tolkien respond to the editing process of The Lord of the Rings?

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

5. What stipulation does Tolkien have in working with Allen & Unwin on publishing The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and what request do they have for him?

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

7. What change does Tolkien consider and eventually make to The Hobbit in Letters #128 and #129, and why is it significant?

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

9. What message does Tolkien hear when he is becoming impatient about the publishing of The Lord of the Rings?

10. What is the One Ring of Power in Tolkien's stories?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The One Ring of Power is a significant element in The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's letters.

1) Describe the One Ring, its features, and the effect it has on whoever wears it.

2) Explain the only known way to destroy the Ring.

3) Analyze Tolkien's hypothetical assessment of why Gandalf would be worse while wearing the Ring than Sauron and whether you agree with him.

Essay Topic 2

Describe Tolkien's views on parenting in Letter #246. Include the reasons why he thinks people either fear or are reluctant to become parents and the many benefits of having children that he writes about.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the stages of publishing for The Lord of the Rings, including the following:

1) The initial cover images, Tolkien's reaction to them, and how the publishers respond to him.

2) The galleys and what Tolkien realizes while revising his books.

3) The idea of including maps for Tolkien's imaginary world and how he involves Christopher in the process.

4) The varying tones that Tolkien uses in his letters while describing the events that are leading up to the release of his work.

(see the answer keys)

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