Is "The Lord of the Rings" racist?

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

  1. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    You're not making sense.
    What do mean by "Tolkien based the historical levels of LotR on what happened after 1066, because much of what happened then is lost to historians...". Historians know plenty about what happened before and after 1066.
     
  2. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Compared to the information about other periods, the events directly after 1066 are not very clear, so Tolkien, who was a professor who partly taught that period, decided to make his own "history", that - though not to explain what happened then - was not closely linked to historical events - seeing as they were rather vague in that period - so therefore could not be criticised as you and WM did.
     
  3. Sevi

    Sevi Pocałunek!

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    What do you mean by sexism and racism in a book? The way the structure of the society is built or the way the characters are behaving? Because especially in "Game of thrones" there is plenty of racism (for example against the bastards) and of course plenty of sexism in the society. Women are nothing compared to men. But the characters are a different matter. They are equally strong.

    But that also applies to Lord of the rings. As Druid of Lûhn said Eowyn is pretty badass in the book, she even kills the witch-king of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgûl. Ive only read the first book of ASOIAF (and I really love it) but no female character in there has done anything as awsome so far. And Galadriel is equal to Gandalf.
     
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    We know plenty about the Battle of Hastings and the events that immediately followed. Indeed, we have a very good idea what happened at the Battle of Hastings because we have first person accounts, almost by the hour of those events leading to, during, and just following the pivotal engagement. There are no large spaces of time from 1066 to the present in which we don't have a fairly good understanding of historical events that took place in Britain.
    1066 isn't even all that long ago, historically speaking.
     
  5. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Yes, there is sexism. Some of the characters are who don't treat women equally, but that's because they are not totally good or totally evil, that's how most characters are. But there are still a lot of females who have a certain strength inside them. They might not be equals, but look at Dani.... One of the strongest female characters, how she grows to be a leader figure. And it is actually astounding since ASOIAF in build on more realistic scenarios, while LOTR is not. No woman is an equal in LOTR. There's no female member in the fellowship? Strange huh... No it isn't. And the few female characters that do stand out are still no equals to be sure, not even Eowyn. But there are no characters that are equals. While there are equals in ASOIAF, depending on the story. Sometimes they'll be suppressed, sometimes they grow stronger but get defeated again. It depends on what is going on, it's more complex.
     
  6. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus Constantly Around :D

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    yea... read books written in the era Tolkein wrote, and before. and the books he seems to have based his mythos off of. maybe take a look at, oh, i don't know, ANY european mythology, since LOTR and the Simarillion were supposedly mythologies. Check out the role of men and women during the medieval ages, and even before that, in the world, not just in europe.
     
  7. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Yeah but since Tolkien created his worlds that is more free from ours, and where the position of male and female, hardly have any importance, he could have given female more importance easily, while in ASOIAF it is a VERY realistic world based on our real world, where taking freedom around characters and their position would have made the story lose its credibility. If there was a female companion in the fellowship the story would lose no credibility or hardly.
     
  8. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Women in Tolkien's Middle-Earth have mostly a subtle but strong and also important role as the men.Luthien Tinuviel,Galadriel just to name a few from Silmarillion.Not to mention Melian or the Valar females like Yavanna.

    Women don't always have to fight or to be like amazons to be important in a fantasy story.
     
  9. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Well neither in a story like ASOIAF, or even Harry Potter. You have very strong female characters too. And yeah you have important women in LOTR, no doubt, but there's always someone above them.
     
  10. jchris

    jchris New Member

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    Yeah, I'm agreeing with all the folks referring to the Anglo-Saxon context. The absence of color isn't really racist. It's ethnocentric, perhaps, but that's not terrible. Making the bad guy a person of color would be a better argument of racism, but that isn't the case in the Lord of the Rings either. Anyway, in Fantasy, usually the bad guy is an English dude with an English accent.
     
  11. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Galadriel in LotR cannot be qualified as not being equal to any others. She and Elrond are the two ruling Elven powers in Middle-Earth (Thranduil keeps to himself).
    Eowyn, though left behind, is just as strong as Dani, and maybe stronger, but doesn't have the opportunity to show it, seeing as her King and uncle gives her the charge of keeping the people, which, as Aragorn says, he could have given to any valiant marshal or captain, that would have been kept from war. Eowyn even says that because she is of the line of Eorl the Young, she is trained as a warrior, and is a Shield Maiden of Rohan, which is quite a high position for a woman, as well as learning to ride.
    Tolkien based the Rohirrim off the saxons, and therefore linked their beliefs to those of the saxons, giving women a lower position in society. That is not sexism.