<<The Jackson films, he says, "have remade memories of Western
imperialism as the only honorable alternative to an evil Eastern
Well, that's certainly not anywhere near the realm of possible
interpretations I took from the books or the films. It seems to me
that if that were the intended message, there would have to be other
alternatives presented that were portrayed as not honorable. didn't
notice anything to that effect ... I also don't think you could call
it an "Empire" as in reading I tended to equate Middle Earth to one
country, like England and Mordor simply an area of that country that
had been taken over by force, to translate it into the real world, it
would be like, if, in England the monarchy suffered some disaster and
was dissolved with nothing to replace it, so that local lords became
the only form of government ... and one of those lords took over the
eastern part and began a reign of terror with the intent to take over
the whole country.
I certainly don't envision Aragorn setting sail for the West or
marching into the South to conquer the Undying Lands or the Southrons.
I think it's made pretty clear that his responsibility lies in Middle
Earth and not expanding to take over all areas of the world.
And to me, if there was supposed to be a message of "Imperialism,
yay!" in there, there would have had to be some sort of opposing
system that was portrayed and shown as clearly failing, like some
isolationist area that was determined simply to wait and see and then
defend it's own borders, should it come to that, who was ultimately
proved to be horribly wrong.
I think the fact that the story was not simply about a war that must
be fought to overcome the evil, but instead was mainly about a mission
to destroy a ring with the battles that were fought either a result of
being directly attacked, or in order to aid Frodo's mission, that it
would be extremely difficult to try to put a political message in
there ... because it's ultimately a personal story not a political
But of course, in their own quest to write something new and unheard
of people are stretching to discover things in literature lke that, in
the hopes of gaining some type of notoriety or literary credit (note:
I have not read the essay in question, so I can't say whether I think
this particular essay is like that ... but the premise in the quotes
above seems like quite a stretch to me). I was astonished to read an
essay once that posited that Gatsby was actually an African-American.
(!) As far as I can tell, that simply is not there. But with a book
that's been the subject of so much literary criticism and analysis,
it's not surprising to me that someone might go out of their way to
find something new and different to say ... I just feel like that
person was making things up that simply were not there.