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12453LOTR: A Story for Grown-ups

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  • David Bratman
    Jun 30, 2004

      Here's a pretty good article defending LOTR as a sophisticated and adult story,
      independently putting for points close to some of those made by Tom Shippey
      (whom, the author told me in e-mail, he has not read).

      The author's name is not on this page: he is Andrew T. Seeley, a philosophy
      instructor at a small Catholic college. Here's his distinctive viewpoint on
      LOTR's supposed immaturity through lack of sexuality:

      > The characters in LOTR are so satisfying precisely because they are so adult.
      > They are not blown about by the winds of adolescent passion or moody
      > questioning of what is evidently good and true. Their temptations and
      > struggles are those of good men tested by a great challenge that demands they
      > go far beyond themselves, where failure to undertake the painful process of
      > growth that brings to birth the hero means the destruction of an entire
      > civilization. The current leaders of our culture, proudly bristling with the
      > hormones of immaturity, glorifying the young and the restless, are
      > understandably left cold by them. Perhaps its not surprising that the
      > greatest work of our times had to be written by a man steeped in the cultural
      > heritage they have lost. They are the ones who seem to be stuck in their
      > teens.
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