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 is Letter #182?

2. In Letter #227, how does Tolkien explain the name, Numenor?

3. Who is Tolkien replying to in Letter #246?

4. What is the first topic discussed in Tolkien's letter to Unwin about C.S. Lewis in "Now the Books Themselves"?

5. What two months are Letters #146, 147, and 148 written in?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Chronicle Tolkien's fascination with stories from his childhood to his career as an author. Include a description of how he used his skills and abilities to develop his appreciation of stories and languages.

(see the answer keys)

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