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 aspect of fiction is detailed in Letter #199?

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

3. What is Tolkien finishing while writing the letters included in "The Lord of the Rings Are Published"?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Why, when, and how does Tolkien switch from writing with a pen and paper to using a typewriter?

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

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

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

Explain the reasons that Tolkien had for writing The Hobbit, The Lords of the Ring, and The Silmarillion. Also, provide an analysis of how his dislike for industrialization factored into his work, the way he used specific characters to represent both sides, and why he thought it was necessary to write fairy tales.

(see the answer keys)

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