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R: [mythsoc] Re: Are Hobbits white?

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  • Scott Hubbard
    Well. As I followed Darrell s comments, what I had in mind was particular races of men in LotR. The men from Gondor and the men from Rohan are very clearly
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 8, 2010
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      Well. As I followed Darrell's comments, what I had in mind was particular races of men in LotR. The men from Gondor and the men from Rohan are very clearly modeled after Europeans, whereas the men who follow Sauron are very clearly not. Tolkein does not explicitly say one is modeled after Europeans, the other after Africans or Saracen or a combination; neither does explicitly say one is evil, and the other, not. But you don't have to be a genius to connect the dots.

      Scott Hubbard

      O insensata cara de' mortali,
      quanto son difettivi silogismi
      quei che ti fanno in basso batter l'ali! -Dante Paradiso XI

      --- Mer 8/12/10, lynnmaudlin <lynnmaudlin@...> ha scritto:

      Da: lynnmaudlin <lynnmaudlin@...>
      Oggetto: [mythsoc] Re: Are Hobbits white?
      A: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Data: Mercoledì 8 dicembre 2010, 19:43

       

      Darrell, I think it's a bit unfair to say, "What do you think when, in an author's original, the "ethnicities that are represented" *are* all villains?" IF you're speaking of LOTR, the issue of PEOPLES really ought to be seen as dominant over the issue of the color of men.

      So there are Elves, primarily 'good' in LOTR; there are dwarves, primarily 'good' in LOTR; there are hobbits, primarily ignorant in LOTR; there are wizards, a VERY mixed lot; there are orcs, creatures debased and bred to be evil; there are men, another VERY mixed lot. There are tensions between all these different peoples. To break it down further and say, "within the humans, the good ones are 'light' and the bad ones are 'dark' and that is a political statement" is imho simplistic.

      It's rather like looking back at the aggressive violent spread of Islam up into Europe in the first millennium and characterizing it as a race war. In fact, arguably it wasn't even a religious war (like Northern Ireland: while being cast as Catholic versus Protestant, it wasn't a religious battle but a political one; the religious labels were simply the identifiers used) but rather one of imperialism and encroachment by people who happened to be Muslims against people who happened to be Christian. Yes, the impetus for Islam is the charge to convert the world, by force if need be, but it's the "by force" part that bothered the Austrians and Italians and Spaniards and French, *not* the religion per se.

      -- Lynn --

      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Darrell A. Martin" <darrellm@...> wrote:
      >
      > On 12/7/2010 7:38 PM, Alana Abbott wrote:
      > [snip]
      >
      > > Where characters are not clearly described, I'd love it if Hollywood would
      > > choose to err on the side of diversity (as appropriate to the time and
      > > place, of course!), though I don't see that happening much in the film
      > > industry. I'd also prefer it if ethnicities that were represented were
      > > not only represented as villains (as I thought to be the case in
      > > Jackson's /Return of the King/).
      > >
      > > -Alana
      >
      > Alana:
      >
      > Two questions:
      >
      > -- Why would you love it if Hollywood erred on the side of diversity?
      >
      > -- What do you think when, in an author's original, the "ethnicities
      > that are represented" *are* all villains?
      >
      > Darrell
      >

    • lynnmaudlin
      I wonder if, in 50 years or so, people will look back at these kinds of conversations and think we were all wonky -or- if they ll have banned or redacted or
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 9, 2010
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        I wonder if, in 50 years or so, people will look back at these kinds of conversations and think we were all wonky -or- if they'll have banned or redacted or corrected Tolkien to line up with whatever future sensibilities will be in the late 21st century.

        Actually, I don't connect those dots and I don't really think Tolkien meant them to be connected. I don't notice the color of skin or hair or eyes, even when JRRT provides the descriptions; it's just not the way I visualize and it's not important to me, at least not in an engaging work of fiction. This being Tolkien's "myth for England" you can see how nationalities and allegiances very loosely reflect British history - but is there any significance to their respective colors? Was there meant to be? Was Tolkien any more (or less) racially insensitive than the average Brit born in 1892?

        -- Lynn --


        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Scott Hubbard <kronides@...> wrote:
        >
        > Well. As I followed Darrell's comments, what I had in mind was particular races of men in LotR. The men from Gondor and the men from Rohan are very clearly modeled after Europeans, whereas the men who follow Sauron are very clearly not. Tolkein does not explicitly say one is modeled after Europeans, the other after Africans or Saracen or a combination; neither does explicitly say one is evil, and the other, not. But you don't have to be a genius to connect the dots.
        >
        > Scott Hubbard
        >
        >
        >
        > O insensata cara de' mortali,
        >
        > quanto son difettivi silogismi
        >
        > quei che ti fanno in basso batter l'ali! -Dante Paradiso XI
        >
        > --- Mer 8/12/10, lynnmaudlin <lynnmaudlin@...> ha scritto:
        >
        > Da: lynnmaudlin <lynnmaudlin@...>
        > Oggetto: [mythsoc] Re: Are Hobbits white?
        > A: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        > Data: Mercoledì 8 dicembre 2010, 19:43
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >  
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Darrell, I think it's a bit unfair to say, "What do you think when, in an author's original, the "ethnicities that are represented" *are* all villains?" IF you're speaking of LOTR, the issue of PEOPLES really ought to be seen as dominant over the issue of the color of men.
        >
        >
        >
        > So there are Elves, primarily 'good' in LOTR; there are dwarves, primarily 'good' in LOTR; there are hobbits, primarily ignorant in LOTR; there are wizards, a VERY mixed lot; there are orcs, creatures debased and bred to be evil; there are men, another VERY mixed lot. There are tensions between all these different peoples. To break it down further and say, "within the humans, the good ones are 'light' and the bad ones are 'dark' and that is a political statement" is imho simplistic.
        >
        >
        >
        > It's rather like looking back at the aggressive violent spread of Islam up into Europe in the first millennium and characterizing it as a race war. In fact, arguably it wasn't even a religious war (like Northern Ireland: while being cast as Catholic versus Protestant, it wasn't a religious battle but a political one; the religious labels were simply the identifiers used) but rather one of imperialism and encroachment by people who happened to be Muslims against people who happened to be Christian. Yes, the impetus for Islam is the charge to convert the world, by force if need be, but it's the "by force" part that bothered the Austrians and Italians and Spaniards and French, *not* the religion per se.
        >
        >
        >
        > -- Lynn --
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Darrell A. Martin" <darrellm@> wrote:
        >
        > >
        >
        > > On 12/7/2010 7:38 PM, Alana Abbott wrote:
        >
        > > [snip]
        >
        > >
        >
        > > > Where characters are not clearly described, I'd love it if Hollywood would
        >
        > > > choose to err on the side of diversity (as appropriate to the time and
        >
        > > > place, of course!), though I don't see that happening much in the film
        >
        > > > industry. I'd also prefer it if ethnicities that were represented were
        >
        > > > not only represented as villains (as I thought to be the case in
        >
        > > > Jackson's /Return of the King/).
        >
        > > >
        >
        > > > -Alana
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Alana:
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Two questions:
        >
        > >
        >
        > > -- Why would you love it if Hollywood erred on the side of diversity?
        >
        > >
        >
        > > -- What do you think when, in an author's original, the "ethnicities
        >
        > > that are represented" *are* all villains?
        >
        > >
        >
        > > Darrell
        >
        > >
        >
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