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. After the Hobbits originate, where does the Dark Power that Tolkien describes in Letter #131 exist?

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

3. What book inspired a schoolboy to write to Tolkien, prompting his response in Letter #114?

4. What does Tolkien explain he uses in developing his fascination with imaginary worlds?

5. In general, why do Tolkien and C.S. Lewis meet several times?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Tolkien describe the development of his penchant for stories in Letter #130?

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

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

7. How does Rayner Unwin first contact Tolkien, leading to his involvement with publishing The Lord of the Rings?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe in detail the story that Tolkien tells Christopher about a train ride he has with two other men in a letter from April 3, 1944. Also, include the literary techniques used by Tolkien in the letter and why they display his skill as a writer.

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

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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