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. Why does a woman think that a used book she purchased had been previously owned by Tolkien?

2. What is the first topic discussed in Tolkien's letter to Unwin about C.S. Lewis in "Now the Books Themselves"?

3. To whom is Letter #159 addressed?

4. In Letter #227, how does Tolkien explain the name, Numenor?

5. Who are the familiar recipients of the letters of the 1960s that are included in "Later Years"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Tolkien support his assessment of Gandalf's Ring-wearing in Letter #246?

5. In what way does Tolkien think that his story will help both existing parents and future parents?

6. What does Tolkien think about Frodo's breakdown at the Cracks of Doom being considered a moral failure?

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

8. When is Tolkien's final letter written and how does he attempt to assemble his work before he passes away?

9. What previously unmentioned career achievement does Tolkien reveal to Christopher Bretherton in Letter #253?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the stages of publishing for The Lord of the Rings, including the following:

1) The initial cover images, Tolkien's reaction to them, and how the publishers respond to him.

2) The galleys and what Tolkien realizes while revising his books.

3) The idea of including maps for Tolkien's imaginary world and how he involves Christopher in the process.

4) The varying tones that Tolkien uses in his letters while describing the events that are leading up to the release of his work.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Describe Tolkien's views on parenting in Letter #246. Include the reasons why he thinks people either fear or are reluctant to become parents and the many benefits of having children that he writes about.

(see the answer keys)

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