Friday, May 28, 2010

The Lord of the Rings

Shaynie asked,

What do you think about Lord of the Rings? Do you think it's allegorical?

I have read the book series twice. The first time, I was in my young teens and I read the trilogy in under two weeks because I just couldn't put it down. I remember reading the part about Shelob's lair at one in the morning, because I thought Frodo was going to die and I couldn't stay in suspense all night.
I really do like the books. They are well written and have such a huge background to them. Tolkien didn't just create a world big enough to tell his story in. He created a solid world, messy and spread out, most of it having nothing to do with the plotline he follows in the books. When you read, you feel the grandness of history.
Of course, there were parts I didn't like. The council of Elrond was long and drawn out and I skimmed over that whole chapter the first time I read it. The hugeness of the history behind the story can get tedious as well. I just want to hear about the characters I have come to love, I don't want or need to hear irrelevant details about the history of Middle Earth.
I am glad I read it, though, and I may read it a third time someday.

The movies are also very good. Looking at them now, with all of our recent advances in animation technology, the graphics at times seem very old fashioned and fake looking. However, they were excellent graphics when the movie came out a few years ago, the best in the business. I'm amazed by the scale of this movie and the settings and the costumes. The three movies were filmed in a row, really as one big movie, and I would venture to say that it may be the most well made movie of all time.
They are a little too violent for my tastes sometimes, but the characters are wonderful.

Now, do I think it's allegorical?
In my opinion, the story in its entirety cannot be translated into an entire allegory. You can't say firmly that Frodo's journey represents a Christian's walk or that Gandalf is the savior figure. However, individual parts of the story can be taken as small allegories. I wouldn't even use the word allegory. I would say that there are truths hidden in this story that can be applied to other areas of life.
The importance of selflessness, the fact that the ends do not justify the means and you cannot use evil to fight evil, the power of loyalty, these are all true things that are shown in this plot. I believe that Tolkien did not intend for the story to be allegorical, but what makes the story so epic and beautiful is the use of these universal, God-created truths.


By the way, this is my 90th post!


faithngracegirl said...

Although I do not agree with what is in LOTR now, I have watched the movies more than once and read the book. I thought that the book went into too much detail. You know, the scenery and all that. But you are right... Tolkein created his own world very well. The movie was very well done. The acting, animation, and the music were the best. I would still enjoy watching the movie if it weren't for the things in it that I disagree with. You do very nice reviews! I enjoy them immensely.


Jane said...

Thanks for the compliment! I'm glad you like my reviews, even if you don't like the movies. Thanks for reading!