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. How does Tolkien think his writing about the joys of fatherhood will be interpreted by people who are parents?

2. Based on the information provided by Tolkien in Letter #261, which Ireland Province was C.S. Lewis from?

3. How does Tolkien expect the publisher to respond to his opinions of the cover designs?

4. What does Tolkien wish for "well-meaning folk who think they know" in Letter #236?

5. In a letter to W.H. Auden, where does Tolkien reveal his work as a professor originates from?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Who does Tolkien thank in his letter to D. Auden on 1955?

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

6. How does Tolkien disprove the misconception that his success was made overnight in Letter #159?

7. What wish does Tolkien have for "well-meaning" editors in Letter #236?

8. Which literary device does Tolkien not appreciate and how does he view the intended audience of fairy tales?

9. What is the general range in lengths of the letters featured in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien?

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Tolkien's creative writing process using the information he provides in his letters throughout the book. Be sure to include his explanation of the power of the pen as well as an analysis of the role of improvisation in fiction.

(see the answer keys)

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