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

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What issue does a woman's presence raise for Tolkien in "Publisher Drama"?

2. What is Allen & Unwin?

3. How many improvements does Tolkien indicate he has made to the manuscript for <i>Farmer Giles of Ham</i>?

4. How does Tolkien describe the writing of <i>The Hobbit</i> to Christopher?

5. What point does Tolkien make about his book, <i>The Silmarillion</i>, in Letter #131?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the Stages of History that Tolkien describes in Letter #131?

2. How does Tolkien address the name Numenor in Letter #227?

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

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

5. What message does Tolkien hear when he is becoming impatient about the publishing of <i>The Lord of the Rings</i>?

6. Why is Tolkien honored with a degree from the Belgians and how do they refer to him?

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

8. What important announcement does Tolkien make to Christopher Bretherton in Letter #253 about his connection to childhood?

9. What observation does Tolkien make about his Middle English class to Mrs. E.M. Wright in Letter #6?

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?

Essay Topics

Tolkien's writing style is a combination of different techniques that is very effective in delivering exciting fiction that can be enjoyed on many levels.

1) Explain the use of vivid descriptions in both Tolkien's letters and his fictional works.

2) Describe Tolkien's advice for writing fiction in a way that maintains the reader's attention throughout the work and analyze how this can be applied to contemporary creative writing.

3) Explain Tolkien's opinions about allegory and its use in writing fiction, as well as your own view about the literary device and its uses.

3) Analyze Tolkien's thoughts about fairy tales and the importance of their place in literature.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien begins with Tolkien's early letters from 1914 while he was an undergraduate at Oxford University.

1) Describe the events that Tolkien includes in his letters about his relationship with Edith and why it is important to him.

2) Explain how Tolkien discusses his time at Oxford, his education, and his classes.

3) Analyze Tolkien's writing style in his earliest letters.

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.

(see the answer keys)

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