JRR Tolkien wrote Lord of The Rings in a time of great racism, a fact that is made clear in so many of the books’ great details. But is the time in which it was written an excuse to leave the symbolism alone and unchallenged? Should we just enjoy it as though the moral ambiguities don’t exist? This is a book that is read by people of this generation, and because of this, it serves as a never-ending racist, sexist propaganda that perpetuates old values.
“Interpreting literature serves an important role in creating a better tomorrow, and appreciating our present.”
While it might be unfair to morally judge the people of yesterday using the tools of today, it is also an objectively correct way to observe our culture’s true nature. J.R.R. Tolkien may have believed he was creating a fictional novel disconnected from the world around him, a new myth for his people/readers to enjoy, but in fact, he was creating a window into Western values.
Worse, though, he was creating a heavy onslaught of propaganda, disguising discrimination as conviction, and prejudice as heroism.
“We create our own demons”
An objective, critical reader would note the frightening fact that Adolf Hitler’s views on racial supremacy were not unique, they were not born in a vacuum.
Tolkien is seen by many as the father of modern Fantasy, but what does this narrative really say? What are these core elements that have inspired millions?
“All or nothing brand of heroes”
LOTR was suggested to have been a fantasy novel that emulated the real life struggle of the time between the Nazi movement and the Allies.
Tolkien rejected the claim, and so should any reader who isn’t sucked into the propaganda. In fact, the way the story is told seems to support many of Adolf Hitler’s basic assumptions about racial supremacy.
It supports the notion that true beauty is Arian. It supports the notion that there exists a superior breed of man, and it also supports deeply-rooted religious dogma and the evils of believing in the “other.”
But worst of all, it sweeps the reader up in these notions, whether or not he/she came into it believing them.
To break the spell, 3 different approaches must be made.
Once for Racial Supremacy, once for Sexism and once for Religious Dogma – all of which Tolkien has made you root for.