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. What does Tolkien offer to the schoolboy in Letter #114?

2. What two factors contribute to the main part of Letter #66 to Christopher?

3. Which character does Tolkien indicate has gained the most power by wearing the Ring?

4. Whom does Tolkien originally ask to draw maps for the imaginary world of The Lord of the Rings?

5. How many improvements does Tolkien indicate he has made to the manuscript for Farmer Giles of Ham?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What happens between Collins and Tolkien during the publishing of The Lord of the Rings?

4. What is unique about Tolkien's poem, "Errantry"?

5. How does Tolkien characterize Sauron in Letter #131?

6. What happens between Tolkien and Edith leading up to their engagement?

7. Who is Tolkien traveling with in the story he recounts for Christopher in a letter from April 3, 1944, and what is the point of the story?

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

9. What happened when the Elves and the Dwarves became friends in the past of Tolkien's fictional realm?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Explain the reasons that Tolkien had for writing The Hobbit, The Lords of the Ring, and The Silmarillion. Also, provide an analysis of how his dislike for industrialization factored into his work, the way he used specific characters to represent both sides, and why he thought it was necessary to write fairy tales.

Essay Topic 3

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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