Discussion in 'Books' started by Liadan, Mar 22, 2005.
Is LotR supposed to be an allegory of WWI, WWII, or neither? Or is it a matter of opinion?
I think vaguely, that Middle Earth evolves into Europe, and the whole story of the Silmarillion relates to the whole heaven and earth thing. However, I think the Elves and other races, including Sauron and the Orcs, were Tolkien's idea.
I don't think LotR was an allegory of WW2, although there were areas where the tactics were similar.
TLOTR is not supposed to be an allegory of anything. Tolkien himself hated it when people thought it was. However when you are writing a story, it's very hard not to be inspired by events in your life. So similarities may exist, but they are absolutely not intentional.
Urambo's right. Tolkien hated it when people thought that LOTR was an allegory for WWI or II. Although I do believe that Tolkien was inspired by the war itself and the feelings of being in war and that's part of what helped him right the views of certain chracters in war but it is not meant to be an allegory.
That's what I thought, but there are some annoying idiots running around proclaiming that LotR was based on WWI/WWII. Can you provide hard evidence (as in stuff written by Tolkien himself) so that I can make them SHUT UPT?!
As you may have guessed, I'm not precisely on the best of terms with them... lol
Well the way that most of us found out is by taped interviews from the people who knew tolkien. check out the EE dvd's and watch the parts about Tolkien's life. You can find some in there.
extended edition lotr movies, its on the exstra materiel.
Ooohhh, got it, and thank you for the help.
I read somewhere that his works were not allegorical. Or something.
I think there's a letter at the beginning of the published Silmarillion describing how he dislikes allegory, and how LOTR and the Sil. should not be viewed as such.
It is inevitable considering the naivete of some... I suppose some people get so immersed in the wonderful world, they try to convince themselves that LotR is a true myth, rather than just a very well written "romance".
yeah i read at the beginning of The Fellowship...a letter by..someone...that it was a rumor that it was inspired by the war but wasn't true, and that Tolkein hated it. I could check who wrote it and all that if ya like..
Yep...there definitely is...According to the letter he can't stand allegory...Though that doesn't mean that they (he and all authors...) aren't influenced by real life events...For example i know that tolkien wrote some of his lotr stuff in the trenches during WWI...
Thanks, Elan, that helped a lot, and Tigerlilie, I could use some of your stuff too.
"As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author nonn. It is neither allegorical nor topical. As the story grew it put down roots (into the past) and threw our enexpected branches; but its main theme was settled from the outset by the inevitable choice of the Ring as the link between it and The Hobbit. The crucial chapter, 'The Shadow of the Past', is one of the oldest parts of the tale. It was written long before the foreshadow of 1939 (war!) had yet become a threat of inevitable disaster, and from that point the story would have developed along essentially the same lines, if that disaster had been averted. Its sources are things long before in mind, or in some cases already written, and little or nothing in it was modified by the war that began in 1939 or its sequels.
"The real war does not resemble the legendary war in its process or its conclusion. If it had inspired or directed the developement of the legend, then certainly the Ring would have been seized and used against Sauron; he would not have been annihilated but enslaved, and Barad-dur would not have been destroyed but occupied. Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ringof his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle earth. In that conflict both sides would have held hobbits and hatred and contempt: they would not long have survived even as slaves.
"Other arrangements could be devised according to the tastes or views of those who like allegory or topical reference. But I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect it presenec. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author..."
There is a lot more but I hope this helps you!
Tolkien fought in WWI and saw many trying and horrible things while being apart of it. He put a lot of things he experienced in his own life into the LOTR (a major one being war). So I think if anything it would be more of WWI and not WWII because I remember hearing on one of the extended DVD's of LOTR that Tolkien himself said that he hated how his story was being related to the second world war so much and that's not what he intended to be like.
Tolkien went on record many times saying that he despised allegory... so i don't think that the work is SUPPOSED to be an allegory of either. Although many of the parrallels can fit either world war. the silmarrileon was being written when Tolkien served in the WW1
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