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View Poll Results: Is the "Lord of the Rings" Harmful for Promoting a Good Vs. Pure Evil Narrative?
Yes 0 0%
No 5 71.43%
Other 2 28.57%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old January 10th, 2018, 05:15 PM   #1
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Is the "Lord of the Rings" Harmfull for Promoting a Good Vs. Pure Evil Narrative?

"J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a genuine masterpiece. The most widely read and influential fantasy epic of all time, it is also quite simply one of the most memorable and beloved tales ever told. Originally published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings set the framework upon which all epic/quest fantasy since has been built. Through the urgings of the enigmatic wizard Gandalf, young hobbit Frodo Baggins embarks on an urgent, incredibly treacherous journey to destroy the One Ring. This ring -- created and then lost by the Dark Lord, Sauron, centuries earlier -- is a weapon of evil, one that Sauron desperately wants returned to him. With the power of the ring once again his own, the Dark Lord will unleash his wrath upon all of Middle-earth. The only way to prevent this horrible fate from becoming reality is to return the Ring to Mordor, the only place it can be destroyed. Unfortunately for our heroes, Mordor is also Sauron's lair. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is essential reading not only for fans of fantasy but for lovers of classic literature as well." -Goodreads.com

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The men/elves/dwarves/ect. are acting in self-defense as they have essentially no choice given they are facing murderous creatures from Hell who's lives' purpose is to carry out the evil deeds of the Devil (Sauron--and puppet Sauromon). It is also true that the orcs (and such) were born into slavery (somewhat like the First Order in Star Wars), they clearly are conscious, are brainwashed, largely terrified of their masters who control them like disposable pawns, have some redeeming qualities as is displayed toward each other--and are met with complete disgust/revulsion by the good guys rather than having some level of pity/compassion for their horrible situation (as is shown toward Gollum for instance).

That is, my main points are:

(A) The good guys undoubtedly have the moral high ground and are in the right since they are left with essentially absolutely no other option as they were up against the physical manifestation of Evil (which does not happen in real life--it is always more complex then that)

(B ) If you look a bit deeper, it is in fact more complicated than that as one would think the good guys should have some real pity/compassion toward many of these sad creatures who were born to be enslaved, brainwashed, controlled/conditioned to murder, do the bidding of the Devil, and are bound to a Hellish life (even though they show many humanoid characteristics--some of which are redeeming qualities). That is, there is a second tragedy at work in the novel (as is always the case in real life--however, is not the mainstream view of the story in LOTR)

(C) (There are potentially many other areas that could be explored as well)
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Old January 10th, 2018, 05:42 PM   #2
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It's a great fairy tail. I have now read it three times in my life and really enjoyed it each time.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 05:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNG View Post
It's a great fairy tail. I have now read it three times in my life and really enjoyed it each time.
I agree; I love getting lost in the story (it is up there with my favorites--I thought the movies were phenomenal also).

Still, do you think there is validity to some of the main points I submitted?

(There are a number of stories/things that I highly enjoy/love that also can be quite problematic in areas also)
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Old January 10th, 2018, 06:41 PM   #4
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When I was in college, there was a lot of discussion about LOTR being a fictionalized lead up to and then to the actual WWII.

I never believed it and Tolkien himself strongly denies it.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 06:46 PM   #5
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I remember reading it for the first time, and the soundtrack to it was Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, which were both in heavy rotation.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 08:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xMathFanx View Post
"J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a genuine masterpiece. The most widely read and influential fantasy epic of all time, it is also quite simply one of the most memorable and beloved tales ever told. Originally published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings set the framework upon which all epic/quest fantasy since has been built. Through the urgings of the enigmatic wizard Gandalf, young hobbit Frodo Baggins embarks on an urgent, incredibly treacherous journey to destroy the One Ring. This ring -- created and then lost by the Dark Lord, Sauron, centuries earlier -- is a weapon of evil, one that Sauron desperately wants returned to him. With the power of the ring once again his own, the Dark Lord will unleash his wrath upon all of Middle-earth. The only way to prevent this horrible fate from becoming reality is to return the Ring to Mordor, the only place it can be destroyed. Unfortunately for our heroes, Mordor is also Sauron's lair. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is essential reading not only for fans of fantasy but for lovers of classic literature as well." -Goodreads.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The men/elves/dwarves/ect. are acting in self-defense as they have essentially no choice given they are facing murderous creatures from Hell who's lives' purpose is to carry out the evil deeds of the Devil (Sauron--and puppet Sauromon). It is also true that the orcs (and such) were born into slavery (somewhat like the First Order in Star Wars), they clearly are conscious, are brainwashed, largely terrified of their masters who control them like disposable pawns, have some redeeming qualities as is displayed toward each other--and are met with complete disgust/revulsion by the good guys rather than having some level of pity/compassion for their horrible situation (as is shown toward Gollum for instance).

That is, my main points are:

(A) The good guys undoubtedly have the moral high ground and are in the right since they are left with essentially absolutely no other option as they were up against the physical manifestation of Evil (which does not happen in real life--it is always more complex then that)

(B ) If you look a bit deeper, it is in fact more complicated than that as one would think the good guys should have some real pity/compassion toward many of these sad creatures who were born to be enslaved, brainwashed, controlled/conditioned to murder, do the bidding of the Devil, and are bound to a Hellish life (even though they show many humanoid characteristics--some of which are redeeming qualities). That is, there is a second tragedy at work in the novel (as is always the case in real life--however, is not the mainstream view of the story in LOTR)

(C) (There are potentially many other areas that could be explored as well)
Interesting take on LOTR. I cast a neutral ballot cause I think it depends whether you're talking about the books or the movie regarding that question, cause the plot is so much more rushed in the movies compared to the books. And I remember especially when The Two Towers was released, it was mere months after 9-11 when all the talk was about War On Terror. It was almost like the movie had been tweaked to match DOD objectives, and make it an almost non-stop battle sequence.



I remember when my kids were younger and we were
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Old January 10th, 2018, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNG View Post
When I was in college, there was a lot of discussion about LOTR being a fictionalized lead up to and then to the actual WWII.

I never believed it and Tolkien himself strongly denies it.
Good vs evil was a strong theme of Tolkien's work, but if he was trying to insert his ideology, I think it shows up more in his other writings about his concerns about environmental issues...which were not big topics for most people back in the 30's. The ents tell us a lot about Tolkien's love of old growth forests that were being cut down to make way for roads, cars and urban sprawl. And Sarumon seems to be more focused on destroying forests and turning everything into a wasteland just like Mordor.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 04:48 AM   #8
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Tolkien was inspired by Christian and Nordic end times prophecies while writing Lord of the Rings, so the battle between good and evil is rather archetypal for "the end of the world." I don't think any of the characters really had the time to weigh on the morality of fighting the Orcs because they were coming in and destroying their homes. The Orcs weren't interested in diplomacy, if that's your implication.

Besides I don't see how a book can be harmful for promoting such a thing. It's a good book. What are you suggesting to be done, ban it for children? Fuck off.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 04:57 AM   #9
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It's a story, with no deeper meaning than Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or The Godfather.

To borrow from Solzhenitsyn
In the real world "the line between good and evil cuts across the heart of every man"
There isn't a group of evil people doing evil who we can surround and destroy.
The real battle between good and evil takes place inside every individual.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 05:13 AM   #10
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When Tolkien was writing, Oxford didn't feel it necessary to bring literature up beyond the 1780's (bit like the American obsession with the Constitution perhaps?), and it certainly affected the likes of C.S. Lewis when it came to 'modern times' and modern values. When I was being taught criticism by F.R. Leavis I remember a couple of us being given a lift by an Oxford undergraduate, fairly drunk in charge of a very expensive car, who aroused our total disbelief with tales about this Professor he had to suffer who devoted his time to making up a language for elves. There's morality for you, as we used to say as C.S. Lewis staggered whoozily to bed! Of course we'd been drinking at the time!
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