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No Triumph without Loss: Problems of Intercultural Marriage in Tolkien’s Works

No Triumph without Loss: Problems of Intercultural Marriage in Tolkien’s Works No Triumph without Loss: Problems of Intercultural Marriage in Tolkien’s Works Hope Rogers he Lord of the Rings has often been praised for what Jonathan Evans Tcalls its “cultural, racial, or ethnic depth” (194). Middle-earth is rich with diversity, inhabited by various peoples from Men and Hob- bits to Elves and Ents. Each of these groups is further subdivided into different cultures, each replete with its own language or dialect, his- tory, cultural practices, and ethnic interests. This feature of Tolkien’s work has garnered much critical attention, as scholars have explored everything from how Tolkien draws on medieval sources and folklore to create these peoples to how they function in the symbolism and spiritual themes of the legendarium. Among scholars analyzing the applicability of Tolkien’s races to those of the real world, however, the conversation has become deadlocked, polarized over one of the most common criticisms of The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien’s supposed racism. His accusers have ranged from “critics who argue that LotR is a book about whites rising against a tide of black-skinned foes,” as Rob- ert Gehl puts it, to Gehl himself, whose nuanced discussion of the fear of miscegenation represented by Gollum still ultimately http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tolkien Studies West Virginia University Press

No Triumph without Loss: Problems of Intercultural Marriage in Tolkien’s Works

Tolkien Studies , Volume 10 – Jul 18, 2013

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 West Virginia University Press.
ISSN
1547-3163

Abstract

No Triumph without Loss: Problems of Intercultural Marriage in Tolkien’s Works Hope Rogers he Lord of the Rings has often been praised for what Jonathan Evans Tcalls its “cultural, racial, or ethnic depth” (194). Middle-earth is rich with diversity, inhabited by various peoples from Men and Hob- bits to Elves and Ents. Each of these groups is further subdivided into different cultures, each replete with its own language or dialect, his- tory, cultural practices, and ethnic interests. This feature of Tolkien’s work has garnered much critical attention, as scholars have explored everything from how Tolkien draws on medieval sources and folklore to create these peoples to how they function in the symbolism and spiritual themes of the legendarium. Among scholars analyzing the applicability of Tolkien’s races to those of the real world, however, the conversation has become deadlocked, polarized over one of the most common criticisms of The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien’s supposed racism. His accusers have ranged from “critics who argue that LotR is a book about whites rising against a tide of black-skinned foes,” as Rob- ert Gehl puts it, to Gehl himself, whose nuanced discussion of the fear of miscegenation represented by Gollum still ultimately

Journal

Tolkien StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jul 18, 2013

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