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Feminist Literary Criticism In The Lord Of The Rings

Decent Essays

Feminist literary criticism is based on feminist principles and ideology to critique a literary work. It explores patriarchal influence on art, role and representation of women and sexual politics of literary language and style.
Feminist critics are often enraged with The Lord of the Rings because most women characters are nothing more than background characters in the novel. There are three who play significant roles in the plot- Arwen, Galadriel and Eowyn. In the films, Peter Jackson increased and created some roles for women to maintain a gender balance.
Eowyn, the most active female character in the novel is portrayed differently in the films from books. Though she is brave and disguises herself to fight in the war and kills the Witch King to protect her uncle, the book always presents her from a distance, with constant references to her "fairness" and her "beauty". It makes her more of an object than a human being. She defies the traditional role men created for her and refused to be left behind when men goes to war. She fears nothing but the cage but in the end, her fighting, her defiance, is presented as unnatural. After she meets Faramir, her heart changes and she declares that she will not be a shield maiden and instead be a healer which is traditionally far more suitable role for women. In Éowyn Tolkien showed that he had some idea of the frustrations women feel in the patriarchal world. Although Éowyn’s quitting the swords to marry Faramir might outrage some the

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