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. As mentioned in a letter to Unwin, how had Tolkien previously responded to the warning about his friendship with C.S. Lewis?

2. What age does J.R.R. Tolkien pass away?

3. What does Tolkien announce to Christopher Bretherton in Letter #257?

4. Which novel was being made into a paperback, prompting the debate over spelling in Letter #236?

5. To whom does Tolkien write about the impact of C.S. Lewis' passing?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What changes have occurred in Tolkien's career as a professor by Letter #182 in 1956?

3. What is the mystery of creative writing that Tolkien reveals in Letter #199 to Christopher?

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

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

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

7. Which familiar people does Tolkien continue to write to in the "Later Years," and which recipients are new?

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

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

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 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.

Essay Topic 2

Explain the difficult situation that Tolkien encounters while having The Lord of the Rings published by Collins, and the events that lead him to work with Unwin & Allen on the trilogy. Also, provide an analysis of the poem, "Errantry," and its significance in the publishing of The Lord of the Rings.

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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