Homosexuality and LotR

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by halfwise on Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:41 pm

That's cool your work is being performed at the university, Tin!

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Orwell on Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:07 pm

Tolkien's tales are no more Catholic than they are Pagan or Norse or Anglo-Saxon. They're an admixture of facts, life, myth and imagination - not Theology --- Tall Tales in fact. Please pay attention next time you read Tolkien's view on allegory, guys. He meant what he said. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by halfwise on Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:26 pm

He also wrote in letter number 42 of his collected Letters: " "The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like 'religion', to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism."  

I must ask that you do YOUR homework.  

Also read what I wrote earlier about the reasons he kept religion out of his work: it most definitely wasn't to keep Catholicism out, only to keep it "subliminal", as it were.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:39 pm

I believe that is the very Letter I was thinking about when I said he had called it a catholic work. Thanks for digging it out Halfy.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by halfwise on Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:41 pm

He realized that being explicit with it would ruin things. It's done right, I have no problems with it whatsoever.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by halfwise on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:13 am

I should add that Kepler's seminal orbital theory was inspired by his conviction that the planets had to fit into Platonic solids, Maxwell's Equations of electricity and magnetism was originally based on a theory of gears and levers that made up space....the results were universally applicable even if everyone tries to ignore the origins.  The power of abstraction crosses the fences and sandpits wherein ideas are born.

The same can be said of LoTR.  Even if you are uncomfortable with the origins, the results can be pure gold.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Orwell on Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:49 am

I hate it when you use actual research to back up your arguments. Mad  But I'm still not convinved. I discern nothing specifically Catholic in his works. Perhaps he refers to the substrata of his Faith, which he calls 'Catholic', but a Muslim might call 'Islam', or an Aboriginal, 'Dreaming'.  

I should put the following on the Narcissus Thread - where conversations about Aboriginal Australians obviously belong Very Happy - but down at the First Peoples Exhibiton I went to, there was a story of Creation having been 'sung' into existence! I immediately thought of Eru/Illuvatar and his singing. I never knew 'Dreaming' was a synonym for Catholicism! Shocked Actually, Jehovah didn't sing the Creation into existence (not according to Genesis at least). So was Eru/Illuvatar Jehovah or not? Tolkien was a bit mysterious in his Catholic thinking, hmm? scratch

I prefer the idea of the Universe being sung into existence now that I think about it.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by halfwise on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:37 pm

Orwell wrote:I hate it when you use actual research to back up your arguments. Mad  But I'm still not convinved. I discern nothing specifically Catholic in his works. Perhaps he refers to the substrata of his Faith, which he calls 'Catholic', but a Muslim might call 'Islam', or an Aboriginal, 'Dreaming'.  
Perzactly: any faith properly done at its roots will agree with other faiths.  It's the dratted details that people fight over.  Tolkien created a universe where higher powers were implied but never spelt out (at least in LoTR); where good was ultimately rewarded even in failure, where people had a sense of the transcendent.

I'm a meat and potatoes type of philosophical materialist myself (NOT to be mistaken for a Madonna type materialist), but Tolkien's world view speaks to me.  And it only does so because he hides the details, by explicit intention.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:44 pm

I agree, he understood why some stories last and become myth, and its because they speak to us on a level thats right across the board about something we intrinsically feel but cant put it in to words- because if you do put it in to words it becomes religion, then as Halfy said everyone fights over the details.
Tolkien leaves it without the details, you add those yourselves from your own experiences and ideas applicably, but the story allows for the underlying religous template to be told- basically a sense that there is more going on that we know of.
And that rationale I have no problem with from either a scientific or spiritual perspective.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Orwell on Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:54 am

So he might say it was "Catholic" but that doesn't preclude it being impelled by any other Religious impulse too.

I imagine saying to someone who hasn't read Tolkien:  "His works are inspired by Catholicism." And then the person (if they're not already daunted!) reading it and saying: "Catholic? What? If it is, it's by no means obvious. I've even read Tolkien's letter on the subject, and I still have trouble seeing it. Even if I take a meat and potatoes approach, I only think that potatoes did not exist in Catholic - or Pagan - Anglo-Saxon Brittain, just in a Pagan Middle Earth where not even Catholic South America exists..."  Very Happy

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by halfwise on Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:01 am

Tolkien likely referred to the work as Catholic because that was his familiar framework. I doubt if he meant to deliberately exclude other religions, just had not reason to think about it.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Tinuviel on Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:31 am

Do we know where the seven stars came from? I know in the story its because of the seven palantirs (right?), but I'm wondering if there is a possible Buddhist connection? I just read an article about Buddhism, and there was a mention of seven stars on a banner, giving hope to the peaceful angels when battling the power hungry gods.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by halfwise on Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:32 pm

"Seven stars and seven stones and one white tree."

Not sure the stars refer directly to the palantiri, could be a coincidence. The number seven has mystical significance all over the place so I don't think there has to be a one to one link.

Punt to Elthir.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by halfwise on Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:37 pm

Found this online, no independent confirmation but sounds right:


"They're Varda's sign of doom for Melkor, also known as the Valacirca, or the Sickle of the Valar. She hung them in the sky just before the elves awoke at Cuivienen. It was one of the first sights the elves beheld upon awakening."

So it's the Big Dipper!

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Tinuviel on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:33 pm

HELP.

So I need to write a 7-10 page paper about Lord of the Rings for my Lit. Theory class, and I'm trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to write that much!

My Idea write now is to talk about the role personal identity has to play in characters' success in the books. All the characters that are able to look past the identities/roles that society has placed upon them are able to succeed, and those that stay with ONE identity don't. (I'm thinking mainly about Boromir, Denethor, and Gollum). I might even talk about how the One Ring represents how chooing one role (gender and otherwise) is used to control us.
The one character I feel like defies this arguement is Sam, who virtually doesn't change throughout the story and has one role; to be loyal to Frodo, no matter what. I'm not sure what to say about him. Does he not have an identity at all?
As far as characters with affinities go, I'm thinking of talking about Eowyn, Frodo (maybe Bilbo too), Aragorn, and the Legolas Gimli relationship.

Thoughts? Critiques? Suggestions? HELP

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Radaghast on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:37 pm

To me, Sam is the true hero of the story. I think his unswerving loyalty is his identity and is what drives the pair through a seemingly hopeless quest.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:39 pm

Sam starts a servant and a gardener, and more so starts with the belief thats his station in life, as exemplified by the Gaffers views -'elves and dragons! Cabbages and taters are more suited to the likes of you and I" and "Mr Bilbo has learnt our Sam his letters, though I hope no harm comes of it."- or words to that effect, and Sam's continual use of his Gaffers names for him that are really just a long series of put downs and insults that reinforce the limits set on Sam- yet he is not rebellious about it at all.
Yet by the end his own self confidence, understanding of his own limits and his own strengths and weaknesses make him capable of breaking all concerns of social rank when he becomes Mayor, and of social standing when he takes over Bag End, a manor hole.


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by azriel on Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:46 pm

I think Sam does have identity. He thinks of others first, yet hides his own insecurities. He doesnt value himself enough yet he is more clear headed than most. And yes, he is loyal, doggedly so. Has a stronger defiance than he thought he had,even tho the Ring tried to get the better of him when he took care of the Ring after Shelob's attack on Frodo. He has leadership skills, can communicate well with people or he would not have been mayor for long. Not a "plain Jane" at all.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Tinuviel on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:00 am

What I'm thinking of arguing then, for his case in particular, is that he doesn't let himself be defined by anything other than himself. He has his own identity that nothing can change, not even the one ring. I'm painting a picture of how defining a single identity is negative, so I don't want to show Sam as being shaped by his surroundings, but rather him forsaking his own identity and ego to help Frodo, so nothing can sway him.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Radaghast on Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:53 am

Btw, I'm way late for the OP but very interesting theory re: Legolas and Gimli Suspect
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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:55 pm

Tinuviel wrote:HELP.

My Idea write now is to talk about the role personal identity has to play in characters' success in the books. All the characters that are able to look past the identities/roles that society has placed upon them are able to succeed, and those that stay with ONE identity don't. (I'm thinking mainly about Boromir, Denethor, and Gollum). I might even talk about how the One Ring represents how chooing one role (gender and otherwise) is used to control us.


I would have thought that Aragorn was Always shackled to his personal identity and the role he was born to play. He couldnt escape it even if he wanted to yet he succeeded. His role as King of Gondor was his destiny. Boromir's problem wasnt so much his role in society as his own personality, that of pride. Faramir was of the same blood but wasnt proud therefore he succeeded. Pride was also Denethors downfall and I suppose that meant he couldnt look past his identity of Steward. Gollum has two identities so I dont know how it fits in. Eowyn could look past her identity to a certain extent, but she was always, in her head, a Shieldmaiden, a title given to her from her society and she didnt so much succeed as follow her preordained role first as warrior, then as wife.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:02 pm

He couldnt escape it even if he wanted to- Mrs Figg

It is an important factor though that Aragorn never wanted to escape it in any way, he was gung ho all for it. His doubts in the book were over the decisions he has to make along the way and whether or not he can actually succeed (and in the end he decides they can, but at the sacrifice of himself all he had lived for to that moment and all the best of Gondor, and even then he only thinks it gives Frodo a better chance, its an act of faith in Frodo, not one I think he expects to live see come to fruition)- but he never questions his own right to try in the first place.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:22 pm

so how does that relate to Tin's question?

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:36 pm

Well if you are discussing Aragorn in relation to personal identity a very large part of his personal identity is absolute certainty in his own right- he demonstrates this often, probably most notably when Gimli questions him over using the palantir when even Gandalf feared to, and Aragorn replies, "You forget to whom you speak," before going on to list his credentials and ends on the "the right cannot be denied, the strength was enough" or similar (dont have book to hand).

I dont think you can address the question of identity as a factor in success and not talk about this aspect of is character, its central to book Aragorn.

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Re: Homosexuality and LotR

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:40 pm

Tin's argument was the people who saw further than their personal identity they became a success. But you are saying he didnt look beyond it?

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