Tolkien Reader Response Essay

1115 words - 5 pages

Fairy tales have been told for generations and now every child has dolls, movies and books filled with magical adventure. Cinderella, Sleeping beauty, and Snow white have become classics in every household. However, J.R.R. Tolkien described in his essay “On Fairy Stories” that the world has corrupted fairy tales by making them childlike and denoting them to evil. Our culture prescribed fairies to be diminutive, supernatural creatures; however, fairies are neither small nor necessarily supernatural. A fairy is a direct product of Faerie, which is “the realm or state in which fairies have their being” (Tolkien “On” 2). Fairy stories are derived from the human mind, more so the imagination. ...view middle of the document...

Ultimately, readers will be able to look upon the world with a newfound wonder and appreciation. Along with this new sense of vision Faerie awakens man’s desire to be outside his own world.This eminent desire is one of the leading forces of The Lord of the rings. One guiding force of the novel is the omnipresent good that guides Frodo and the fellowship through disastrous times. A glimpse of this force is shown when the Fellowship reaches the transcendent Lothlorien, and Legolas exclaimed that they wandered into the Golden Wood (Tolkien Fellowship 378). This is a beautiful, light filled Elvish kingdom that contrasts many others of Middle Earth, like the Mines of Moria. Legolas finds his true happiness with these elves because their home arouses his desire to be in the undying land. Humans, like elves, long for this undying land, but through religion. Fairy tales then encourage readers to withstand the trouble of the world and arouse the desire to be with their Creator outside this known realm.
Escapism, another function of Fairy tale is experienced in Lord of the Rings. Although highly criticized, Tolkien believed that escape is a necessary and beneficial element of fairy stories. Men face “hunger, thirst, poverty, pain, sorrow, injustice, death” and even the weaknesses of themselves in which “fairy stories offer a sort of escape” (Tolkien “On” 12). This escape from life is one that the Primary World cannot offer. In fairy tales the other creatures become the weaknesses and troubles of this world. These “other creatures are like other realms with which Man has broken off relations, and sees now only from the outside at a distance” (Tolkien “On” 13). In The Fellowship of the Ring this can be characterized by the terror of the Balrog. This demon like creature is engulfed in fire and threatens the lives of the fellowship as they pass the bridge of Khazad-dum. In a sense, the Balrog represents the calamitous forces that dwell within the human mind, but the escape that Faerie provides for this weakness is through Gandalf, the demon’s foil. The Fellowship’s only protection from the seemingly indestructible Balrog was Gandalf himself. The beast began to approach bridge, “Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm. ‘You cannot pass,’ he said”...

Find Another Essay On Tolkien Reader Response

Imaginative Journeys: Coleridge Essay

1477 words - 6 pages city pent" - or from the environment that was causing his "swimming book" to swim. The school yard that is so far from Coleridge's "sweet birthplace" is the catalytic environment that stimulates or manipulates 'mental imagery' in Coleridge's mind.Throughout his poems Coleridge conveys the extent of his capacity to imagine and in doing so he explores the notions of imaginative journeys. These notions are further examined by J.R.R. Tolkien and Shirley Geok-lin Lim in their texts. Through all of these texts the reader is able to synthesise his or her own concept of an imaginary journey.

Beowulf: The Outsiders Essay

1118 words - 4 pages of honour and his boasts of heroism aid his symbolic isolation from his other human counterparts. Unferth, for example, who is first mentioned around line 500 challenges the validity of Beowulf’s boasts; consequentially resulting in Beowulf bragging about his accomplishments further and then compare them to Unferth’s own infamous past (“Beowulf”, Norton). Beowulf’s response gives the reader cause to resent Unferth and again separate Beowulf from

Christianity and Fatalism in Beowulf

2573 words - 10 pages public. For it is tragic to think that a person such as Beowulf could so accurately embody Christianities ideals like charity and peace, and yet still be damned out of ignorance. It takes no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the Anglo-Saxon response to Beowulf would be to accept God into their heathen hearts if they hadn't already.It is apparent very early in the text that the characters present in Beowulf are tragically ignorant of

Stranger in a Strange Land

1934 words - 8 pages . Heinlein's writing of his novels after 1961 when he wrote Stranger in a Strange Land, has changed the genre of science-fiction, because he not only wrote about strange worlds and crazy adventures, but Heinlein also tried to include criticism and a message to the reader in his novels to explain problems that he felt humans have. This became Heinlein's writing style after 1957 when he reached the age of 50 and was on the top of science-fiction

“Warning: Not to be Taken Literally”:

2282 words - 9 pages scenes and characters, and revising the overall roles that some characters were to play. Removing characters and situations that appear in the book may seem like the worst kind of story-tampering, but where these passages drew the reader into Tolkein's world, they would have seemed like irrelevant film-padding when presented in a visual format. In reading, the speed of the story-line is very much dictated by the readers; they can skip passages

Mythology of Evil: Deciphering the Darkness

2439 words - 10 pages key to writing or creating a memorable story is to have an intriguing counterpart with whom the hero will duel. This can take many forms, the classic being the amiable and admirable protagonist who must conquer the evil antagonist and put an end to his despicable deeds. In cases such as this the reader will most often agree with the protagonist’s reasons for destroying the evildoer. Interestingly, though, there also exists plotline’s where the

Game of Thrones: The Birth of the Mother of Dragons

2117 words - 8 pages afterwards she declares that her son, who she named Rhaego, will join the world under one flag. This enrages Viserys greatly, so he threatens to kill her unborn son if he doesn’t his army immediately. In response to this Khal Drogo gives him a “Golden Crown”, which is molten gold. As Viserys dies, Daenerys calmly watches and says,” He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon" (Insert Citation). At this point, almost all ties to Daernerys past life

A Jungian Reading of Beowulf

1617 words - 6 pages and universal psychological experience; therefore, analyzing Beowulf within a Jungian framework enables a reader to examine traditional critical debates in a new light. For example, my position that the poem is about Beowulf’s struggle to achieve self-knowledge complements rather than negates recent arguments that the controlling theme of the poem is the nature of community (Niles 226), or the inherent weakness of Germanic social institutions

Humor's Place in the 20th Century Novel

2406 words - 10 pages . Iris Murdoch prsents a perfect example of this in Under the Net. Jake often finds himself in situations that are very uncomfortable, yet because they are presented in humorous ways, they evoke a different kind of response from the reader. The best example of this is the scene where Jake and Finn are attempting to steal Mars (pp. 126-134). They go through all the struggles of figuring out how to get Mars out of the apartment while still in his cage

Mythologies

2256 words - 9 pages influence on our modern culture. In this description, the myth is connected to modern aspects of our culture, such as a movie, word, or work of art. In some cases the connection may already be obvious to the reader, like in Disney's adaptation of the myth of Hercules. In other instances the relationship between the myth and the cultural aspect may not have been apparent until, upon reading the entry, the reader becomes initiated to the twists and

Cracking the Harry Potter code

7530 words - 30 pages makes Harry Potter not only an international phenomenon among children, parents and teachers but also a topic of compelling curiosity to literary, social, and cultural critics? When asked, Rowling has elucidated in several interviews that this is the question she refuses to answer, lest her readers believe there is a magic formula to her writing that she must include in the next book for success. 6A survey of popular and critical response to her

Similar Essays

Tolkien Influence Essay

1713 words - 7 pages origin of Black Speech. Lastly, the languages all differ very much, varying from the longwinded response grammatical structure of Entish to the very Semitic structure and resemblance of Khuzdul to Hebrew. Tolkien took great pride in creating these languages and he was influenced by nearly all languages for the development of each unique language. Thus, Tolkien used preexisting languages to create the numerous unique and complex languages that are

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit: Juxtaposition Between Home And The Outside World

2292 words - 10 pages One of the prevailing themes of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is the juxtaposition between home and the outside world. Throughout the novel, Tolkien behooves the reader to wonder whether or not adventure is beneficial for Bilbo, as opposed to staying back at his home in The Hill. Tolkien himself does not take a clear position on this himself. Instead, he brilliantly juxtaposes Bilbo’s home with the outside world and leaves it up to the reader

How Are Generic Techniques Used To Shape Our Response To One Character From The Novel "Lord Of The Rings": Fellowship Of The Ring By Jrr Tolkien?

1631 words - 7 pages that I learn of your mind.” (Pg. 341). With this defiant response, Gandalf is taken to the upper pinnacle of Orthanc. The surroundings of Orthanc are demolished as Saruman creates an army of monsters amidst the smoke and fire. This event is likened to the real world through the coming of the industrial revolution, where JRR Tolkien is in the position of Gandalf, watching helplessly as the beautiful, green fields of Tolkien’s hometown

Evil Within The World, Depicted In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit

3441 words - 14 pages from the dwarves, he instantly recognized the danger and threat they posed. Because of these factors Bilbo reacted in the way he did, or at least initially. I assume this was a purely innate or instinctual response formed from his years of innocence within The Shire. Therefore he would naturally be “alarmed” by danger and wish to be “a hundred miles away” (Tolkien 38). However, after this initial instinctual response the influences of the greed