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 do the Belgians describe Tolkien in Letter #165?

2. In what year is Letter #253 written?

3. What is the only date found on Letter #182?

4. What does the publisher do after reading Tolkien's opinions of the cover designs?

5. According to his letters, how does Tolkien consider his experience with the publisher about the cover designs?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How does Allen & Unwin respond to Tolkien's opinion of the cover images?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Examine Tolkien's theory about human behavior and the effects of circumstances, free will, and character in making decisions. Be sure to provide examples from Tolkien's letters explaining why certain characters he has invented act the way that they do and make the choices they make.

Essay Topic 2

The One Ring of Power is a significant element in The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's letters.

1) Describe the One Ring, its features, and the effect it has on whoever wears it.

2) Explain the only known way to destroy the Ring.

3) Analyze Tolkien's hypothetical assessment of why Gandalf would be worse while wearing the Ring than Sauron and whether you agree with him.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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