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. How long does it take Tolkien to get his story about The Lord of the Rings published, according to Letter #159?

2. How many Elves does Tolkien think might be able to manage the Ring of Power in Letter #246?

3. Overall, what is the length of the longest letters included in the book?

4. How does Tolkien sign Letter #165?

5. According to the information in Letter #182, what position does Tolkien now have?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Who is Tolkien writing to when he predicts what would happen if Gandalf had worn the Ring, and what is his prediction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Letter #246, Tolkien evaluates Frodo's heroic and moral qualities in The Lord of the Rings.

1) Describe Mrs. Eileen Elgar's observation of Frodo's actions and Tolkien's response to it.

2) Explain why Tolkien considers Frodo to be a non-hero, including the supporting logic he uses as well as your thoughts on his viewpoint.

3) Analyze Frodo's breakdown and the moral implications of it as well as the conclusions Tolkien makes from the event.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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