Is "The Lord of the Rings" racist?

Discussion in 'Debates' started by Anduril, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    I am making this thread mainly in response to a post I read here: http://paris.indymedia.org/article.php3?id_article=13086.

    Personally, I disagree strongly with it. Tolkien was trying to write a mythology for England. He loved the old anglo-saxon tales like Beowulf and was writing another great epic including great kingdoms, dark forces, elves, and dwarves. I personally have not read Beowulf. But I doubt there are many asian or oriental heroes in it. And therefore Tolkien would be unlikely to put them in his stories.
     
  2. Sabishii

    Sabishii Sindarin

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    That, and the fact that the area of Middle-Earth portrayed in the setting for LOTR was only its western half. The only "racist" thing I could think of could be the evil Haradrim and Easterling, who were in essence Middle Eastern (am I wrong here?), but that is explained by Sauron's corruption while there were still men on Numenor. Come to think of it, there were unpure "white men" - the Black Numenoreans.
     
  3. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    I think the easterlings were once allies with Gondor but Sauron corrupted them.
     
  4. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    The person who wrote that article was WAY off his rocker, out to lunch, and several fries short of a Happy Meal. I've read Beowulf, and there are no mentions of Asian, Oriental people at all what so ever. The person who wrote that article is (as one could tell from the opening paragraph) just an angry white liberal who does not like the message that these moveis and the books are sending. They hate war, the movie shows that was is necessary at times. They think that by being nice to our enemies, they'll be nice to us and leave us alone. The movies and books show that you have to devote yourself mind and body to defeating evil. You cannot pacify evil people.

    But that's just my two cents....
     
  5. finrod

    finrod Born to woe.

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    you thought that over, didn't you?
     
  6. Lego

    Lego God amongst men

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    Tolkien was writing a story to be mythical to england, middle-earth is england, how it should look, and when it was written there were only white people in britain.
     
  7. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    As always I agree with what everyone has said.

    The Eastren cultures in ME, (esp. Harad) are located east and south of what Tolkien wanted to be a 'primitive' Europe. Therefore, it would make sense for the race to be of dark colour, since those lands would have to represent the Middle East. This is the basic concept of evolution to a climate, as seen in our world.
     
  8. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    The book is meant for reading pleasure and there is no purposeful intent of racism considering the amount and variety of people who have read the books.
     
  9. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    Nope. Posted that right off the top of my head. :D
     
  10. dwarf tosser

    dwarf tosser "What the Deuce?"

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    IT'S A BOOK! A DARN BOOK! yes there are many factors that can lead to this, but Ian (spelled wrong)->Makellin spasifically states that tolkien wrote the book because his son was in the war or somthing and that Frodo was his son concuring great evil. Evil (in Tolkien's eyes) being Hitler or Mosalenie or Tojo! Germany and Italy and Japan are in the east just like Mordor and Harad and the EASTterlings. Thirty somthing of Tolkien's friends died in the war. I think that Tolkien would of had a grudge against the culture of these people. But let me get to the poiint.......I dont think that he is being racist, he is just telling a brilliant story of people and their friendship trying to overcome the greatist of all evil.....

    -dt

    P>S> I'll be in my trailer if you need me mister Daville.
     
  11. Haldir

    Haldir Archer Extraordinaire

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    I have to agree... It's a book intended for enjoyment. I can't speak for the people who this is supposidly being racist against but I would have never come to such a conclusion. It's an excellent book and it doesn't need this sort of belittling etc (not by the people here-by the author of the piece).
     
  12. Draven_of_the_Shire

    Draven_of_the_Shire Defender of the West

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    I have to agree with Haldir here... The guy who wrote this obviously has his own agenda, and problems...

    Are you kidding me?! yes, thank god! Let us not forget the wonderful advancements that rap music has given us over the years...

    Come on... Any time something is as successful as the LOTR trilogy has been, people are going to try and tear it down... NEWSFLASH... in EVERY story I have ever HEARD of... "light" has always represented good and "dark" has always represented evil.

    This guy is just trying to get his 5 seconds of fame in. SAD...

    there is a good thread about this on IMDB's website... PM me if you want the link...
     
  13. Boromir Of Gondor

    Boromir Of Gondor Aragorn was a

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    And he said that in Theodens speech, he said
    , but ive seen the movie twice and never heard theoden say such a thing! Am i deaf or is this guy making things up?
     
  14. Boromir Of Gondor

    Boromir Of Gondor Aragorn was a

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    Heheh i know iv already posted, but i just read the comments made by other people and it was hilarious! If your going to read the article, read some of the comments below it!
     
  15. Glorfy_of_Imladris

    Glorfy_of_Imladris Mysterious Glorfy

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    hm... stupid person... to his opinion the story should have been screwed up... he doesn't seem to realise Middle-earth is equal to Europe, and erm... I have a small feeling European people are white skinned...

    he's just someone who thinks he knows a lot, but who's brains need some oil.
     
  16. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    just because the races were fair skinned does not imply racism. Dwarves, Men, Elves, etc. are all different races right?
     
  17. Anduril

    Anduril Flame of the West

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    Very true. I would think that people would take Legolas and Gimli's friendship as a sign of non-racism. But folks will hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see.
     
  18. Duke_Aramis

    Duke_Aramis New Member

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    Well the guy is free to think an say what ever he wants, that's his right ...when living in the west.
    As it is my right to have no problem with how the book was written or how the movie turned out, actually... I love it and am very inspired by it.
     
  19. byzantine warrior

    byzantine warrior Autokratos Konstantinou

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    I think this fella had a little too much ale. Northern ME is supposed to represent england hobbits/elves/dwarves/rohan southern ME supposed to represent the mediteranean/ gondor did you ever look at a map of far harad? it looks kind of like africa it has thick jungles and elephant like animals. Also arnor the north kingdom represents the northern provinces of the roman empire or the holy roman empire. The easterlings hmm could be slavs or asian dont really know. anyway thats just how I see it.
     
  20. Midnight

    Midnight New Member

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    I don't think the geography is the issue here. I agree that ME is representative of a primitive europe but this doesn't address his portrayl of easterlings and harad as evil and being allied with sauron.
    Tolkien may have been coloured by his war-time experience where many of his friends were killed but the enemy that he faced and fought was not of middle-eastern origins but more likely of german origins. So that argument doesn't hold.