The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Who is Tolkien replying to in Letter #246?

2. According to Tolkien in Letter #246, what would have happened if Gandalf wore the ring?

3. According to Letter #257, why did Tolkien find it difficult to become close friends with Charles Williams, a mutual friend of C.S. Lewis?

4. When is Letter #185 written to Christopher and Faith Tolkien?

5. How does Tolkien react to the original cover designs that he is sent for his books?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Mortality and humanity are two themes that are present in Tolkien's novels.

1) Describe why Tolkien chooses to place humans in the background of his stories instead of featuring them as main characters.

2) Compare the psychological issues that Elves have in dealing with their immortality.

3) Analyze the parallels between the struggles that human beings have with their mortality and the problems the Elves face with their existence.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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