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

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