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. What is the title of Tolkien's lecture that is included in an academic journal?

2. How does Tolkien describe his work for a dictionary?

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

4. Based on Tolkien's assessment in Letter #159, who is the most surprised about the results of the published books?

5. What does Tolkien think drives humans towards certain behaviors?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe in detail the story that Tolkien tells Christopher about a train ride he has with two other men in a letter from April 3, 1944. Also, include the literary techniques used by Tolkien in the letter and why they display his skill as a writer.

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

Tolkien offers to give away copies of his manuscripts on two occasions while giving the reader an inside look at his opinions of his own work.

1) Explain the reason why a schoolboy contacts Tolkien about The Hobbit and how Tolkien responds.

2) Describe the way Tolkien refers to his own work in Letter #155 and why he does not think it will be published.

(see the answer keys)

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