The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien Test | Final 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. Which one of the following is a topic of discussion in Letter #150 to Christopher?

2. How long is Tolkien's Letter #256 to Colin Bailey?

3. Which new names are among the recipients of the 1960s letters included in "Later Years"?

4. To whom is Letter #159 addressed?

5. Besides his publisher, who else does Tolkien give credit to for his literary success in his letter to D. Auden?

Short Essay Questions

1. What problem of Sauron does Tolkien describe in his letter to Auden as an example of human behavior?

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

3. As Tolkien explains in his letter to Unwin, why is the work of C.S. Lewis opposed by some?

4. What information does Tolkien provide in his remembrance of C.S. Lewis in Letters #257 and #261?

5. What issues is Tolkien having with the cover images for The Lord of the Rings books and how does he handle the situation?

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

7. Who is Tolkien writing to when he predicts what would happen if Gandalf had worn the Ring, and what is his prediction?

8. What is Tolkien's initial reaction when he is warned about his friendship with C.S. Lewis and what happens to change his mind?

9. How did being a father help Tolkien in writing one of his most well known stories, The Hobbit?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the differences between literature that is designed to be read out loud and stories that are written to be read silently. Use Tolkien's work as a reference, including his intent with Farmer Giles of Ham and a look at the role of writing that is intended to be presented verbally in contemporary literature.

Essay Topic 2

Analyze Tolkien's relationship with his son, Christopher, based on his letters. Provide at least three separate examples of how he communicated with his son and the effect it had on his writing.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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