Christianity And Lord Of The Rings Essays

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If the study of literature shows nothing else, it shows that every author, consciously or subconsciously, creates his (or her) work after his (or her) own worldview. Tolkien is no exception. "I am a Christian..." he writes(1), and his book shows it. Christianity appears not as allegory--Tolkien despises that(2)--nor as analogy, but as deep under girding presuppositions, similarities of pattern, and shared symbols.
That there should be similarities between the presuppositions of of The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's Catholic faith is to be expected given Tolkien's own views on Christianity and myth. Regarding the gospel story Tolkien wrote, "The gospels contain a fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all
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Even is seen as perverted or fallen good. Perhaps the best expression of this characteristically Judeo-Christian viewpoint comes when Elrond, the high elf, says, "Nothing is evil in the beginning. Even Sauron was not so."(7)Evil is also seen as self-destructive--a theme which cannot be divorced from scripture.(8)Evil is self-blinded, too. That which it does in malice, that which seems to be its greatest victory, proves to be its own undoing. No clearer illustration of this truth is possible than Christ's resurrection which proved to be the surprising undoing of Satan's greatest triumph. The fiend underwent a devastating and unlooked for humiliation in achieving this victory.(9)It is akin to Sauron's defeat at the moment he was gloating in the stupidity of the march of Aragorn and his meagre six thousand to the gates of Mordor.
Another aspect of evil developed in Tolkien is the insatiable hunger to possess, to rule, to dominate. The Bible captures the same idea with pictures of locusts, of the sword, of wild beasts, of striving kings, and of Satan going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour. "Devouring" is an apt symbolization of insatiable lust. It closely parallels the Trilogy's symbol
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