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 letters included in "Publisher Drama," how many times does Tolkien have the chance to use the poetic invention he makes?

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

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

4. According to Tolkien in Letter #131, what is the source of magic in his stories?

5. How old is J.R.R. Tolkien in the first letter?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

3. What request does Allen & Unwin have about Farmer Giles of Ham and how does Tolkien respond?

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

5. How does Tolkien design Farmer Giles of Ham and what does he think about it being considered a children's story?

6. How was the collection of J.R.R. Tolkien's letters compiled and who helped with the process?

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

8. How are the letters for "To Unwin about The Hobbit" chosen and what information is left out of them?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Chronicle Tolkien's fascination with stories from his childhood to his career as an author. Include a description of how he used his skills and abilities to develop his appreciation of stories and languages.

Essay Topic 2

Analyze Tolkien's friendship with C.S. Lewis using his own accounts in the letters he writes about Lewis. Also, explain the controversy surrounding Lewis' work, the way Tolkien deals with his death, and the facts that Tolkien includes in remembering Lewis.

Essay Topic 3

In Letter #246, Tolkien evaluates Frodo's heroic and moral qualities in The Lord of the Rings.

1) Describe Mrs. Eileen Elgar's observation of Frodo's actions and Tolkien's response to it.

2) Explain why Tolkien considers Frodo to be a non-hero, including the supporting logic he uses as well as your thoughts on his viewpoint.

3) Analyze Frodo's breakdown and the moral implications of it as well as the conclusions Tolkien makes from the event.

(see the answer keys)

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