The Myth about Tolkien Essay

1529 Words 7 Pages
“The Lord of the Rings is racist. It is soaked in the logic that race determines behavior.” (Ibata 2). Many people have tried to perpetuate the myth that J.R.R. Tolkien was racist. They cite various scenes in The Lord of the Rings, in both the books and in the movies. These people are lying or ignorant. J.R.R. Tolkien was not a racist, nor did he ever intend for his novels to be viewed as such. There is plenty of evidence to defend Tolkien from these claims such as: the themes of his novels, like The Lord of the Rings; the clear messages in his personal writings and his upbringing; and the characters from his novels.
The themes that are evident in works such as The Lord of the Rings are clearly not racist. The triumph of “the little man”
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No one judges them correctly, but they are the only race capable to produce individuals that are able to carry the most corrupting and evil thing in the world to be destroyed. (Anderson 872). This is exactly what racism is not about. Racism is prejudice against a minority by majority, and the theme of the race that everybody looks down upon proving to the world that they are powerful and deserve respect doesn't fit the racist bill.
The next theme that disproves the notion that Tolkien was racist, is related to the first theme, however it comes from the perspective of the majority. “A lesson that many of the individuals in The Lord of the Rings must learn is not to judge individuals by their outward appearances.” (Anderson 872) Support for this theme can be drawn again from Treebeard, by simply examining the support from the first theme from the perspective of Treebeard instead of the hobbits. This reveals that Treebeard learned not “judge a book by it's cover” as the saying goes. Also, many other characters learned this during the prequel to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit. “As soon as I clapped eyes on the little fellow bobbing and puffing on the mat, I had my doubts. He looks more like a grocer than a burglar!” (Hobbit 26) Gloin voices his opinion of Bilbo, and he questions Bilbo's abilities based on his appearance. By the end of the novel, however Bilbo has proved himself to be an invaluable asset to the dwarfs' journey.…