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J.R.R. Tolkien: Middle Earth

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is remembered for his imaginative writings and the lasting creation of Middle-earth world. However, he was also a great scholar and linguist, holding the position of the Rawlingson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University. His writings owe much of its power to his ocean of knowledge about European languages and a deep understanding and appreciation of the art of storytelling and myths. His books have been translated into twenty-four languages and many millions of copies have been sold worldwide.

Tolkien was born in the Orange Free State, in what is now South Africa, on January 3, 1892. However, his mother brought him home to England when he was four, and after his father’s death his family made their home in rural Sarehole, then on the edge of the industrial city, Brimingham. When Tolkien was only twelve, his mother passed away, leaving him and his brother in the care of Father Francis Xavier Morgan. Father Morgan was a very strong moral influence on young Tolkien and provided him with loving support though to his years in college. Tolkien received a very good high school education at King Edward VI School, one of the finest schools in England at the time.

From there e went up to Oxford, where he studied English at Exeter College, gaining him first class honors. At the age of twenty-one, Tolkien proposed to his childhood sweetheart, Edith Bratt, although it was against the wishes of Father Morgan, who objected to him marrying someone three years older than himself. However, the two were unable to wed for a few years because Tolkien was drafted to fight in World War I. During the war he served in the Lancashire Fusiliers as an officer, and survived the Somme, though many of his close friends and colleagues died.

His respect for the common soldier under the great stress of ar shows through in his later writings, where the Hobbits show strength in Mordor, previously unseen by themselves or others. After the war he got a job, working at the New English Dictionary, but in 1920 he was appointed reader in English at Leeds University. Four years later he was promoted to Professor, which is the highest academic rank in British universities. It was this time that he started writing. At this stage he thought of his tales as being a new mythology for England.

These early works, which laid the basis for his later works, are now published as The Book of Lost Tales. In 1925 he was elected to the Professorship at Oxford. There he specialized in Philology, the study of words, and was among the most accomplished scholars in his field. His love of words led him to work on a series of languages for the Elves of Middle-earth. Though out his lifetime this obsession drove him to produce fourteen languages and he also showed how these languages developed over the course of history of Middle-earth.

Tolkien said that the one of the first alphabets, called Tengwar, became very popular because it was a very flexible writing system that was easily adapted by the many different races of Middle-earth for use with their languages. The main flaw of his language was that it was very difficult to inscribe onto metal, stone or wood. This led to the creation of alphabet but with simpler characters made with strait lines. Tolkien often signed his work with }$O@O@O8bael/u} , which translates into his name.

Over the course of the next few years Tolkien wrote four books for each of his four children. Of these, The Hobbit is the best known and was eventually published in 1937. Stanley Unwin, the publisher asked for a sequel but Tolkien was skeptical of a sequel’s success. He felt as if his work would only be enjoyed by a small minority and was surprised with his revious success. Once he began though, he became very involved with the book. Unfortunately World War II intervened, and slowed the process down considerably, taking a total of twelve years to complete.

The book blossomed into more than a sequel, being not a book for children, but a great saga for adults, The Lord of the Rings. At the time of its first publication the book received mixed reviews. It was not until the late 60’s and early 70’s that Tolkien’s popularity increased dramatically with the official release of the Lord of the Rings in the United States. During this time, there was n international emergence of Tolkien cults, which unfortunately delayed Tolkien’s entry into the canon of twentieth-century writers.

Tolkien retired shortly after the publication of this work, and left Oxford for the coastal resort of Bournemouth, but when his wife, Edith, died he returned to Oxford to be with the rest of his family. He himself died two years later on the 2nd of September 1973, at the age of eighty-one. He was buried alongside his wife in an Oxford cemetery, under their real names and the names of two lovers he had created, Beren and Luthien. Although Tolkien’s vision was mainly channeled into his writings, he also drew any pictures and sketches, both in ink and water colors, and produced many wonderfully detailed maps of Middle-earth.

The pictures appear as covers to some editions of his works, and have been gathered into a book of their own. Tolkien used a great deal of symbolism in his books, most noticeable is the race of small manlike creatures know as Hobbits, which he uses to symbolize the people of England. Tolkien perceived his fellow Englishmen (and Hobbits) as a simple, comfort-loving people that were surprisingly strong and resilient in times of trouble. In many of his books, Hobbits played key roles as an nlikely hero who ends up making a big difference in the world.

Many people also believe that many of the events in The Lord of the Rings, symbolize people and places in World Wars I and II, but Tolkien denies ever intentional doing so. When approached with similar questions about Middle-earth, Tolkien does not answer as the author, but as a historian trying to recall events of a pass long forgotten. After his death, his son Christopher, aided by the Canadian writer Guy Gavriel Kay, set out to edit many of Tolkien’s earlier mythological works. The majority of Tolkien’s works were not published until long after his death.

The first to be published was the Simarillion, a very detailed work containing many of the myths and the rich history of Middle-earth. In the early 80’s, Christopher compiled many of Tolkien’s miscellaneous stories into a set of books called the Book of Lost Tales. The most recent addition to the Tolkien library is the History of Middle- earth series. This set of books is almost like a textbook of just the history of Middle-earth and includes many of Tolkien’s notes, maps, sketches, and time lines on everything that occurred in Middle-earth, from the creation of the planet to its destruction.

Apart from the Middle-earth cannon of works, Tolkien has written many children’s books as well as an impressive collection of poetry. Tolkien has also used his linguistic skills to translate many books into English. Other published works are mainly composed of letters he sent to people explaining things about Middle-earth and several scholarly essays. Tolkien never expected his works to achieve the popularity that they have, thinking that they would only be of interest to a select group of readers.

Yet his vision of Middle-earth, rooted in his love of language and lore, touched the spirt of people the world over. His work has proved the inspiration for many other writers and artists, and set the foundation for the modern heroic fantasy genre. Tolkien’s famous book, The Lord of the Rings, has been repudiated as one of the best fantasies ever written. Tolkien creates a very deep intimacy between the book and the reader, he captures the reader’s attention and lures him into the story. One of the ways how this cathartic relationship is created is through the use of reality of the situation in the story.

Tolkien has conjured up a fantasy language, to show the actuality this novel may present. Some quotations of this language are: leventy-first birthday The invitation were limited to twelve-dozen (a number also called a Gross by the hobbits) Many young hobbits were included and present by parental permission for hobbits were easy going with their children in the matter of sitting up late. What may you be wanting? It was a cheerless land The hobbits were merrymaking happily. Not only does the language create a land but it may also add a bit of humor.

This humor can also express the merriness of the people that have been written about. The language, in English is not exactly incorrect but it is odd, strange, and different, hich matches the theme and plot. Tolkien, like mostly every other author has one main, specific goal during the exposition of the story, which is to capture the reader’s attention. In the beginning of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien presents events of happiness, mystery, tales of power, chase, by evil riders, battles, and strange encounters.

Through this process, Tolkien has created a grasp upon the reader’s attention, although, in the beginning, there is not much of a sort or understanding of the condition and the state of the tale. Later on in the story, in the Council of Ehond, Tolkien regains control of the story and resents the understanding. At that time, the reader understands the story, and is also eager to read on. Tolkien thought of it better to catch the attention and then promote the comprehension of the tale. The Lord of the Rings is indeed a fantastic book with times of happiness, war, mystery, conflict, and passion.

In order to create the full cathartic effect of presenting and expressing the magnitude of the potential of each feeling, emphasis must be exercised. If emphasis was not used, the essence of The Lord of the Rings could not be how it is; it would be a monotonous tale without any events of objects with reat importance. There are two ways of how Tolkien expressed the dynamics. One way was the use of capitalizing common nouns, making the level of the word’s recognition increased. Some of the quotations of such words are: … nd was drawing near to the astonishing Disappearance.

There is lie until the End. The ring itself might tell if it were the One. A new Power is rising. The other way of emphasis is personification: a figure of speech in which a lifeless thing or quality is spoken of as if alive, or to play the role of another thing. This can imply more importance into a less-important thing. The use of this emphasis is shown in these quotations. My news is evil. We shall need your help, and the help of all things that will give it.

The Elder Days are gone. The Middle Days are passing. The Younger Days are beginning. The time of elves is over, but our time is at hand. The Ring grows in Power and deserves destruction. This figurative language promotes increase of importance of things that must be emphasized. The story presents a very easy to believe story that can be witnessed in the setting. The setting is a fantastic world of beauty threatened by an evil overlord and a wizard. The world ontains man odd creatures to create the fill effect of fantasy.

Something in which Tolkien added to this tale to create not only more emotion but also supporting edition to the tale’s reality. He’s added rhymes and ‘songs’ in which some of the characters chant in the time of boredom. A quote from such a song is: Gil-galad was an Elven-king. Of him the harpers sadly sing: the last whose realm was fair and free between the Mountains and the Sea. His sword was long, his lance was keen, his shining helm afar was seen! This use of rhymes transmits a feeling that is sent by the character singing the song to he reader. This is an effective use of catharsis.

In a story like The Lord of the Rings, catharsis is very important and essential. Throughout the whole book, there is one minor weakness. Due to the many names of all the different characters in the story, each of them can be easily confused with, causing the reader to be perplexed, and thereforelosing his or interest in the novel. Many of the names sound the same. Oncea name is introduced, many others follow. And then it builds up into a very long list of jumbled names. Some of the confusing ones are: Aragorn, Arathorn, Arwen, Athdas, Bolger, Bomladil,

Bombur, Boromir, Eldar, Elendil, Elessar, Eomer, Eru, Galadrid, Galadrim, Gildor, Gil-galad, Gimli, Glorfindel, Minas Morgul, and Minas Firith. Overall, The Lord of the Rings is an incredible, fantastic book. It was fairly difficult to read at some parts of the book which had Boring written all over the page, but it was definitely worth all that time. There is absolutely no doubt about the potential of excellence this book can generate. Tolkien has written an outstanding book and has proven many things and has shown many aspects. When Tolkien set out writing this book, he aimed for a best- seller.

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