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Old 02-16-2018, 08:25 PM   #18
Haunting Spirit
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 84
Balfrog has just left Hobbiton.

We would all like to believe Tolkien's thoughts on 'allegory' per TLotR are truthful. But there is considerable doubt. He was after all of human stock and should not be deified. Off the top of my head I can think of at least two times (both on important matters) that he squarely contradicted himself. One of these is on 'symbolism' (see Letters #142 & #203).

Professor Tom Shippey has spent far more time studying Tolkien's works than we have and is probably (after CT) the leading authority on the Master. He quotes many of Tolkien's letters within his publishings and is thus more acquainted than you (as admitted) or me for that matter. Moreover as a professional philologist his mind is almost certainly more attuned to Tolkien's way of thinking than ours. In his 'Author' book he devotes eight pages to the discussion of 'allegory' and 'applicability' and per my reading - pulls apart the 'myth' of Tolkien's supposed aversion.

In any case as far as Ms. Seth's prognosis she has not claimed (yet) Tom is an 'allegory'. Indeed she has kicked the can down the road. A careful read of her voluminous essays has shown us evidence of Tom being many things other than just an 'angel'. From her work, this invention who supposedly has many newly uncovered faces representing mythical/legendary beings associated to the locale of ancient England might have been considered to 'symbolize' the Archangel Michael for just one of those faces. Thus that doesn't mean that Tom is allegorical. This may be a case of 'applicability'. But that is my current reading, and we will have to wait for Ms. Seth's view in her final summation as she has promised to one day deliver.

As to:

"And Tom recalls their souls? From where? Please quote me the passage where that happens or the passage where the hobbit's souls left their bodies. He breaks the wight's spell on the hobbits"

An inference: just as it not explicitly stated that the Wight cast a spell on the three younger hobbits or that Tom breaks it.

Perhaps it worth asking oneself what did Tolkien mean by "the Gate is open"?
or why is Merry's memory displaced by an 'out-of-body' death moment; and why does Tom state:
"You've found yourselves again"? What found who? or perhaps better put: what part of you found you?
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