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. Where is the man whose accent Tolkien refers to as "English after being wiped over with a dirty sponge" from?

2. As mentioned in Letter #69, which specific part of his manuscript does Tolkien plan on revising?

3. When does the history of the Elves begin?

4. How many times do the Elves and the Dwarves share an enduring friendship throughout their history?

5. What is the only thing capable of destroying the Ring in Tolkien's story?

Short Essay Questions

1. Which literary device does Tolkien not appreciate and how does he view the intended audience of fairy tales?

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

3. How old is Tolkien when the earliest letters begin and what is his situation?

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

5. Who is Tolkien writing to when he predicts what would happen if Gandalf had worn the Ring, and what is his prediction?

6. What previously unmentioned career achievement does Tolkien reveal to Christopher Bretherton in Letter #253?

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

8. According to Tolkien's letter to W.H. Auden, what drives humans towards certain behaviors?

9. What inspires a schoolboy to write to Tolkien about <i>The Hobbit<i> in Letter #114 and what advice does Tolkien give in return?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Describe in detail the Stages of History according to Tolkien's explanation of them in his letters. Include the order of his fictional species, the major differences between them, how mankind fits into the development of his world, and Tolkien's reasons for creating each stage a particular way.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Tolkien expresses his discontent with changes made to his work by editors in various letters.

1) Describe two examples of Tolkien's disagreement with proposed changes in spelling or use of words for his stories.

2) Analyze how Tolkien invented the different languages for his fictional realm and why his educational background was significant.

(see the answer keys)

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