Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Cultural Political Aspects of the Film


Tolkien's fantasy world is dominated by men, because this world suffers from greed, misuse of power and war.

Tolkien' structures and shapes his narratives so well that the transaction during gendered identity his/her is kind of seamless. Tolkien writes beautifully detailed and lovingly developed world so that the reader is drawn in without much room for any other thoughts. Even if you pause reading and think over in your head, the only thoughts that will remain constant is the plot and trying to manage multiple descriptions, and while your mind is busy trying to figure out the plot, the gender roles don't appear problematic.

Laura Mulvey's theories on gender in literature and film, and her powerful conception of the 'male gaze 'must be acknowledged because she is a successful Professor who specializes in film, and media studies. Her best known essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" published in 1975 in the influential British film theory journal 'Screen' included the intersection of film theory, psychoanalysis and feminism.

In her article there was no such research about film, but rather an extensive amount of arguments that are comprised from Freud and Lacan that the classical Hollywood cinema inevitably put the spectator in a masculine subject position, with the figure of the woman on screen as the object of desire. In the era of classical Hollywood cinema, viewers were encouraged to identify with the protagonist of the film, who tended to be a man.

Tolkien strongly includes his opinions about feminism especially in the character of Eowyn. Eowyn decides to join the army of men by disguising herself and placing aside her feminism to march to the 'Battle of the Pelennor Fields'. Aside from this, Eowyn gets into the fight with the Nazgul Lord and defeats it. During this time the reader is suddenly aware of the him/her systems in the book.


In the Tolkien's world there are 6 races, which are: Elves, Dwarfs, Orcs, Wizard, Hobbit, and Humans.

But most common race that accompany with political issues are the Orcs. In many articles and forums, it is argued that Orcs represent Nazis. Orcs are brainwashed, and they don't really think a lot when they have been given an assignment to destroy or kill something or someone. The same can be related once more to Nazis. Orcs also represent Communists.

However J.R.R Tolkien clearly stated that there has been no political related issues involved in the story at least not intentionally.


From the Religious aspect, Lord of the Rings might seem a dull film when compared with Religion. However, upon looking deep into the story you soon start to realize that Religion is a big role in the film. For example, the most common theory is that Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn constitute of the Priest, Prophet and King, the Three offices of Christ.

To elaborate further of this example is that Frodo is the ring-bearer (the ring is of course sin) so he is leading his people away sin, thus he fulfills the duty of a priest.

Gandalf can be seen as a Prophet, because he brings bad news to the villagers and warns them to prepare themselves from the evil.

As for Aragorn, he becomes the King of Gondor

But looking at it from the Religious aspect it reflects a lot with Catholicism.
(this christian thing is doing my head-in....i can't understand...perhaps maybe you could finish it off?...i don't think much is needed to be added.)

"The power to decide what a book means in our own lives is completely up to us, the reader."
Symbolism in Lord of the Rings by Brian Cobb

The Real Middle Earth -- Full Program

Tolkiens experience of war and the remarkable similarity of his works.

The Lord of the Rings is a book which penetrates factions, It depicts the horrors of the twentieth century, it uses the language of myth.
Although he wrote The Lord of the Rings during World War II and it was published in 1954, his imagination was much earlier in the century. The evil and horror unleashed by Sauron was partly prompted by Tolkien’s personal experiences in the Battle of the Somme during World War I, where over a million men died on both sides in a matter of months.
(The Battle of the Somme started in July 1st 1916.  It lasted until November 1916. For many people, the Battle of the Somme was the battle that symbolised the horrors of warfare in World War 1.)

Tolkien’s artistic achievement was part of a wider European tradition going back to the 19th century as his imagination of the story play and the use of words as he was specialised in translating ancient languages.
Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

There is a remarkable similarity between Tolkien’s symbolism and the works of Richard Wagner  a German composer. Richard Wagner’s work of Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) which is a opera performance thats is often referred to as "The Ring Cycle", "Wagner's Ring", or simply "The Ring".
Some video clips of The Ring of the Nibelung.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Tolkiens creative world

Tolkien was born in South Africa, but returned to England with his mother when he was only four years old, retaining very few memories of the South African landscape.

Tolkien love of nature, which it brought the creation of ents, Treebeards, and charactors such as Tom Bombodil and Goldberry. These charactors made a popular role in the play as they had unique characteristic's.

Shortly after returning to England, Tolkien's stay in the village of Sarehole which was  industrialized but retained the isolated beauty and simplicity of the pre-industrialized English countryside.

Industrialization, machines, and technological progress in all its forms are seen as destroying forces, which very much come alike as the dark forces in tolkien stories. Living in industrial Birmingham and observing the horrors and destruction of World War I and II, Tolkien had born witness to the many drawbacks of industrial progress.

These industrialization give a great similarity to Saruman who destroys the land around Isengard and cuts down great sections of Fangorn Forest to feed his war machine. Sauron has the great resemblance of war and destruction shown in world war 1. The story play also shows the rise of army in darkness and leadership such as the wicth king and the 9 dark riders called the nazguls also show the effects similar to world war 2.

the way the whole scene which shows as sauron returns to once again bring middle earth to its darkness which is more alike world war 2 which is been born within the ashes of world war 1.
The movie lord of the rings directed by Peter Jackson, the world of tolkien has been brought back to life in a whole new way of bringing life to the environment and experience of the novel.

Tolkien's Hate of the Mechanical world

Tolkien was sent to war when the new age of mechanical weapons were introduced. Machine-guns, tanks and poison gas. He fought in the Battle of The Somme, which is where over a million people were killed. You can see his experiences shine through especially in the fight scenes in the films..

You can also see his anger towards the massive cities that churn out great products in quick succession, and that end up destroying the urban land because of the size of factories. This can be seen in the story when Saruman destroys a wide part of the forest to make way for his new army..


Even though the books are a fantasy to most people, it can be as a way in which Tolkien voiced his philosophical opinions to the world about life

Monday, 22 March 2010

Tolkien's evil orcs, or Hitlers Army?

Lord Of The Rings can be seen as a fantasy story about good and evil by the majority of us... However we are going to take a look into the deeper truths which can be interpreted. One thing i have found is the relationship between the film and World War 2. These are the reasons that i have come to this conclusion:

  • How all of the different races in the film join together to form a united front against the army of Sarumen.
  • Sarumen's position, very similar to Hitler
  • How Sarumen built his army up in Isengard, giving life to new creatures. This is similar to when Hitler brainwashed children because of their innocence, making them the perfect generation in his eyes, obeying his every command
  • The unity between the towns and races is very similar to that of the United Nations which was formed after World War 2

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


At its peak, the enlightenment movement was a philosophical movement of the 18th century which stressed reasoning over blind faith and obedience, thus in contrast with much of the religious and political order of the day, as well as encouraging scientific thinking at the same time. 

In Immanuel Kant's book 'Kant's critique of pure reason' he describes what the meaning of The Enlightenment is... 

'Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity, immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but it in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Supere Aude! (Dare to know). Have courage to use your own understanding!' 

Kant's critique of pure reason
Author:Theodor W. Tiedemann, Adorno 
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Date: 2001