1.23.2004

Curious LOTR Interpretation

Continuing from my hypothesis that Germany is represented superficially as the Orcs, what would that mean to the overall purpose of the text? Thinking about this yesterday, I wondered: since the ring is most prominent, what would it represent? Evil, obviously, but could it represent more than that?

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them


Before you dismiss or accept any ideas readily without mulling over them, please consider it carefully.

It seemed to me that the ring might represent racism or the Aryan superiority of race: "One Ring to rule them all." Frodo has difficulty destroying the ring. And why not? Tears for Fears once sang, "Everybody wants to rule the world." Frodo may have not had such dreams as a boy, but when the power was in his hands, it was difficult to reject.

At the beginning of the novel, the tone is mostly light. But if you know the story, you'll notice that it hints at something darker:

At ninety-nine they began to call [Bilbo Baggins] well-preserved; but unchanged would have been nearer the mark.... it seemed unfair that anyone should possess (apparently) perpetual youth as well as (reputedly) inexhaustible wealth.

'It will have to be paid for,' they said. 'It isn't natural, and trouble will come of it.'


The "Thousand-Year" (apparently perpetual youth?) Reich grew rich by killing off unwanted peoples and collecting their loot.

Can anyone bring up specific instances that may back up or deny this interpretation?

I'm just curious where such an interpretation might lead us--if valid or invalid and where and why.

***

In other news, I have been unable to find an intelligent reading of LOTR as racism. How do people become academics if they don't analyze the text? People continue mistake cruel superficiality for depth.

My interpretation as a statement against racism is far more unified than these simplistic dismissals. Please. If you call and respect yourself as an academic, look at the text. Does the interpretation fit the whole story? Or are we conveniently splicing out the text that will fit our interpretation? Does it hold true?

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