OT: Tolkien criticism

andrew osmond andrew at ozma.demon.co.uk
Wed Apr 18 02:30:03 EDT 2001

>HSchinske at aol.com wrote:

> I choked on this one essay that refers with breezy
>condescension to "the writings of Tolkien's donnish colleague and friend
>C. S. Lewis" who "was much concerned ... with the Problem of Good and Evil
>(the capitals--and the simplification of the issue--are his)",

To be fair, one of Lewis' Christian books was called The Problem of
Pain. I was impressed by it as a teen, but certainly many people find
_any_ Christian response to evil and suffering inadequate. (Just read an
Interzone interview with John Clute - praising the militantly anti-
religion Philip Pullman - who makes this very point.)

>  The same essay
>complains about the "almost total absence of femininity" in LOTR.  "By
>absence of femininity," the author goes on, "I mean the lack of any true
>gentleness, grace or what the Oxford dictionary calls 'passivity' in the

I agree it's rubbish; if the author had complained about the distinct
lack of _females_ in LOTR (barring Galadriel (sp?) and Eowyn), it might
have been more interesting. Though for anyone reading the Otherland saga
by Tad Williams, it's interesting that he makes 'Sam' a girl very aware
of the LOTR character - though it's hinted she's going to grow well
beyond 'Sam.'

It appears that the LOTR films are going to give Arwen a few more things
to do. Though she doesn't become a tenth member of the fellowship or
andrew osmond
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