J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

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J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings strikes a cord with almost everyone who reads it. Its popularity has not waned with the passing of time, nor is its appeal centered on one age group or generation. Book sales would indicate that The Lord of the Rings is at least as popular now as it ever was, if not more so. Some estimates put it at the second highest selling work of all time, following only the bible.

While it is certainly an exciting and well written work of fantasy, which cannot help but grip the imagination, all this would be for naught except for the poignancy of the themes which serve as its backbone. Foremost of these is Tolkien’s determination to show the natural world as the measure of all things. His world revolves around nature, and his character’s affinity to it determines their place in Middle-Earth.

The structure of the history of Middle-earth is based on the natural cycle of life. Tolkien’s chronicle, stretching back through the various ages of the world, is at its heart a simple story of good vs. evil. The balance of power does not swing chaotically however. Tolkien sets the world on a cyclical system. As Gandalf says, “Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.”(Fellowship, 76).

Additionally, the world is also divided into various ages, declining in their greatness as time passes. The First age for instance, is filled with greater beings, both good and evil, who inevitably clash, often eliminating themselves in the process. In earlier days the elves were still numerous, the dwarves ruled their great holdfast of Moria, and evil beings such as Sauron and the Balrogs were but servants to the great dark lord Mo...

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...uity through art, a link which would preserve some of the faded glory of the past. (Stanton, 93)

Tolkien tells us “Farie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons: it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted.” ( On fairy Stories, 9).

This applies well to The Lord of the Rings. Farie, representing nature, is an intrinsic part of our lives. To ignore it or destroy it can only bring us trouble. With nature man finds art, beauty, abundance, and joy. All good things from nature, and all evil comes from its lack and destruction. To Tolkien, a world without nature was no world worth living in, and in The Lord of the Rings, he doesn’t let us forget it.
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