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Old 04-09-2002, 04:10 PM   #1
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Sting What should I write about? (regarding Tolkien)

Hey, every month I have an English assignment to write something (anything!)regarding one author, and for May, it's an author of choice. I chose Tolkien. Does anyone know any topics I could write about regarding him and his works? I really want to do a good job on the assignment, and besides it being the last English assignment I will probably have this school year, it's Tolkien! Does anyone have any suggestions? If so, please tell me! I want to start very early and so have a lot of time for editing, proofreading, and such. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2002, 12:25 PM   #2
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I think that if I had such an assignment I would study the similarities regarding the history of ME and the evolutiontheorie and the bible.

Just a thought,
'You?' cried Frodo.
'Yes, I, Gandalf the Grey,' said the wizard solemnly. 'There are many powers in the world, for good or for evil. Some are greater than I am. Against some I have not yet been measured. But my time is coming.'
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Old 04-10-2002, 01:33 PM   #3
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Definitely write about his passion of languages, and how he created a world specifically for his invented languages. Say how he wrote as if things were revealed to him, not as if he created them. Of how he took things happening in his world as seriously as if they were real. Of how perfectionist he was, that much that he didn't finish what he wanted and that he wouldn't have published anything if it wasn't for CS Lewis. And teachers mustn't like the big hollywood action/adventure/fantasy/popcorn movies, so don't stress too much on the movies.
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Old 04-10-2002, 03:10 PM   #4
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You may want to take a further look at the thread, "Are there any valid criticims" for - oh - may be a half dozen cogent topics regarding Tolkien. I think I saw a post or two of yours on the first page.

[ April 10, 2002: Message edited by: littlemanpoet ]
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Old 04-10-2002, 08:25 PM   #5
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You don't want a topic where you can stack up points endlessly, but it never comes together in a conclusion-- and you don't want something where there's not enough info for anything to be decided.

I would tackle the songs and poetry in The Lord of the Rings. That's a limited amount of text. The songs and poetry were very important to Tolkien-- it's one of the reasons he wrote the book.

There are built-in categories--

Hobbit songs, including those comic songs that Pippin was afraid to sing for Denethor (we'll never know, but I'll bet they were good) and Sam's song in Mordor

Elvish songs and poems, including Aragorn's, Sam's, and Bilbo's translations and real elvish poems like those 'O Elbereth Gilthoniel' chants

the Chants, Songs and battle-rhymes of the Rohirrim

the song Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas sing for Boromir (not sure what category this should be in-- does it go with Elves or Men/Rohan? Tell me if you figure it out.)

Gimli's poem of Khazad-Dum-- and what about what Galadriel quotes at him about Moria when they're all in Lorien?

-- you can check what purpose each group uses their songs/poems for, and see where that leads you.

If you really want to impress your teacher, find Tolkien's Letters in a bookstore and skim it (or buy it and skim it)-- reading the author's letters for clues to what he/she meant to do is one of those grad student type things to do. Tolkien was good at explaining himself and his stories-- particularly in the second half of the Letters, where he was answering all sorts of questions on The Lord of the Rings.
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Old 04-10-2002, 09:47 PM   #6
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What about comparing Frodo's quest with some of the other great mythological quests? This is kind of off the top of my head, but it seems that most of the great Quests we learn about, like the search for the Grail or Jason and the argonauts and their search for the Golden Fleece, were done for personal gain or to gain some kind of spiritual or temporal power over others. (And frankly, to take something that doesn't belong to them.)

Frodo's quest in The LOTR is different in that you have a thing of great power, which no one wants to wield, but which must be destroyed. A kind of giving away, rather than taking.

I know this is kind of vague, and there may be contradictions to my theory that I'm not recalling at the moment, but it might be worth exploring.
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