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Race and racism in Middle-Earth - a study of Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings
2001 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay will concern itself with the world Tolkien meticulously created and turned into a fantastically detailed universe with a fictional history spanning millennia and populated by fantastic races that he imagined specifically for that world or that he borrowed from myths and legends. The whole universe he created, from the geography to the creation of sun and moon, was built in this manner. Everything was blended carefully to something unique that many, impressed by Tolkien’s visions, have tried to emulate. Many have been content with copying, not even bothering to change the names of races nor the features that is special for Middle-Earth, which is the world that The Lord of the Rings is set in. Others have used Tolkien as an inspirational source but have simply come up short when trying to create something similarly impressive. This essay is concerned with race and racism in Middle-Earth. It is not, however, an attempt to tar the deceased author as a racist. Tolkien himself was nauseated by Nazism and could not understand national romanticism nor the idea of a country being defined by race. This can be seen for example in his speech about English and Welsh in the book The Monsters and the Critics. Some things, however, that formed the world presented in The Lord of the Rings had their origin in the real world or in the author’s life, and will be discussed.

Abstract [en]

This essay will concern itself with the world Tolkien meticulously created and turned into a fantastically detailed universe with a fictional history spanning millennia and populated by fantastic races that he imagined specifically for that world or that he borrowed from myths and legends. The whole universe he created, from the geography to the creation of sun and moon, was built in this manner. Everything was blended carefully to something unique that many, impressed by Tolkien’s visions, have tried to emulate. Many have been content with copying, not even bothering to change the names of races nor the features that is special for Middle-Earth, which is the world that The Lord of the Rings is set in. Others have used Tolkien as an inspirational source but have simply come up short when trying to create something similarly impressive. This essay is concerned with race and racism in Middle-Earth. It is not, however, an attempt to tar the deceased author as a racist. Tolkien himself was nauseated by Nazism and could not understand national romanticism nor the idea of a country being defined by race. This can be seen for example in his speech about English and Welsh in the book The Monsters and the Critics. Some things, however, that formed the world presented in The Lord of the Rings had their origin in the real world or in the author’s life, and will be discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 41 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53864Local ID: ENG D-11OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53864DiVA: diva2:1102424
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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