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Old 05-30-2002, 08:20 AM   #13
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It has actually been argued that Tolkien's eucatastrophe (climactic sudden turn to good when all seemed to be leading to evil) did in fact include a deus ex machina, an interference into the natural order by Eru. I don't see it. I see real human characters (Frodo, Sam and Gollum) with their real human strengths and weaknesses and tendencies, put under great strain; nothing they say or do includes miracle; everything that occurs does so in keeping with the Laws that govern Ea. 10,000 Ainur did not come and at the last minute spare Frodo from making his decision to keep the Ring for himself. Thus I see a parallel to the Christian eucatastrophe, where there is also no deus ex machina. Jesus cries out his famous protest, God, why have you forsaken me? 10,000 angels do not come and spare him death on the cross. All that occurs does so within the Laws that govern life as we know it. Yet by means of both the Mount Doom and Cricifixion eucatastrophes, a great good comes into being; in Middle Earth, the destruction of the last powerful overlord; in our life, the destruction of death itself. I cannot say for certain whether this parallel is unique to the Christian faith, but my guess is that it is.
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