14 October 2016 @ 12:43 pm
In which I re-read The Lord of the Rings for the first time as an adult.

I had originally intended to post about my re-reading experiences "in order" (Silmarillion - Hobbit - LotR) but then life happened and anyway, I had to read The Lord of the Rings for school, so we're going to talk about it now. Cool, cool?


So. I think the last time I read anything Tolkien was ~2011. So it's been a good five years since I've jumped into Middle-earth, and in that timeframe I've become an adult and dedicated a significant portion of my time to literary analysis and cultural criticism. Naturally, I no longer approach the legendarium with the same mentality I did as a teenager. Some standout points for me are Tolkien's ~gender issues~ (to be kind) and the anti-science nature of The Lord of the Rings. There are other things to talk about, of course, and I might touch on those later, but for now, we'll just talk about those two. Actually, things got too lengthy so we'll just talk about gender here. With more to come as time wills.

Problematic gender representation

So, Tolkien as a fairly conservative mid-century Catholic is likely to approach gender relations differently than most of his modern-day readers today, even those readers who are also conservative Christians with complementarian ideals. Anyhoo. Complaints about the paucity of named female characters within Tolkien's Arda aren't new, and I'm not going to add my voice to that argument. (Not that anything else I'm saying is particularly new, either.)

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