Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

applicability, race, etc.

Expand Messages
  • Steve Schaper
    I think that by applicability , Tolkien meant that there is indeed -meaning- in his works, and story elements that can have illustrative or parabolic
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 25, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      I think that by 'applicability', Tolkien meant that there is indeed -meaning- in his works, and story elements that can have illustrative or parabolic applications, but that the stories and characters themselves are not allegories in the sense of Pilgrim's Progress, or the medieval morality plays.

      That he, too, had an intent to 'get past watchful dragons' seems clear enough from his letters and the history of the TCBS. (which I suppose I should write up and submit sometime)

      As to racism, Tolkien rather obviously wasn't a racist. Recall, for instance, his response to National Socialist censors in Germany who inquired as to his ancestry.

      He -did- like to use traditional literary metaphors, such as dark and light, which coming from the northern fringes of Europe, had nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the invisibility of predators in the northern sub-arctic winter.

      Ancestry in cases such as Aragorn aren't statements of 'blood-purity' but of primogeniture and right to hold office. This is a common medieval legal concept. One might also think of ancient Israel at times intermarrying with the nations around. Once again, the issue wasn't genetics (the host leaving Egypt was a 'mixed multitude' and Christ's ancestry includes Edomites, etc) but that the spouses from the surrounding nations brought in pagan religious ideas and practice. I see something similar - indeed probably an intentional borrowing - in references to the Men of Gondor becoming of more 'mixed' and 'less pure' lineage over time.

      --

      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
      "A generation which ignores history has no past and no future."
      Robert Anson Heinlein

      http://www.users.qwest.net/~sschaper/
      sschaper@...
      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    • Steve Dufour
      True, it s also good to remember that one of the most important themes in Tolkien s books is love and understanding between different peoples. If we re
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 26, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        True, it's also good to remember that one of the most
        important themes in Tolkien's books is love and
        understanding between different peoples. If we're
        talking about black Americans, I think many will
        indentify with the hobbits, as will many others.
        -Steve

        --- Steve Schaper <sschaper@...> wrote:
        > I think that by 'applicability', Tolkien meant that
        > there is indeed -meaning- in his works, and story
        > elements that can have illustrative or parabolic
        > applications, but that the stories and characters
        > themselves are not allegories in the sense of
        > Pilgrim's Progress, or the medieval morality plays.
        >
        > That he, too, had an intent to 'get past watchful
        > dragons' seems clear enough from his letters and the
        > history of the TCBS. (which I suppose I should write
        > up and submit sometime)
        >
        > As to racism, Tolkien rather obviously wasn't a
        > racist. Recall, for instance, his response to
        > National Socialist censors in Germany who inquired
        > as to his ancestry.
        >
        > He -did- like to use traditional literary metaphors,
        > such as dark and light, which coming from the
        > northern fringes of Europe, had nothing to do with
        > race, and everything to do with the invisibility of
        > predators in the northern sub-arctic winter.
        >
        > Ancestry in cases such as Aragorn aren't statements
        > of 'blood-purity' but of primogeniture and right to
        > hold office. This is a common medieval legal
        > concept. One might also think of ancient Israel at
        > times intermarrying with the nations around. Once
        > again, the issue wasn't genetics (the host leaving
        > Egypt was a 'mixed multitude' and Christ's ancestry
        > includes Edomites, etc) but that the spouses from
        > the surrounding nations brought in pagan religious
        > ideas and practice. I see something similar - indeed
        > probably an intentional borrowing - in references to
        > the Men of Gondor becoming of more 'mixed' and 'less
        > pure' lineage over time.
        >
        > --
        >
        >
        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
        > "A generation which ignores history has no past and
        > no future."
        > Robert Anson Heinlein
        >
        > http://www.users.qwest.net/~sschaper/
        > sschaper@...
        >
        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
        >
        >
        >


        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger. http://im.yahoo.com
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.