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. How long does Tolkien indicate he has been working with the imaginary realms in Letter #130?

2. What is Allen & Unwin?

3. In Letter #27, which of the following does Tolkien say that he will leave the drawing of to someone who can draw ?

4. Which one of the following does Tolkien vigorously discuss in his letters?

5. Under what conditions is Tolkien asked to chair an English department in "The Professor"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What are galleys in literature and how does Tolkien respond to the editing process of <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>?

5. In what way does Tolkien realistically depict his job as a professor in 1952?

6. What observation is made about Tolkien's work that prompts him to evaluate Frodo's heroic status?

7. What happens between Collins and Tolkien during the publishing of <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>?

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

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

10. What does Tolkien think about Frodo's breakdown at the Cracks of Doom being considered a moral failure?

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

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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