The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-23-2004, 11:00 PM   #1
Tuor of Gondolin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Pennsylvania, WtR, passed Sarn Gebir: Above the rapids (1239 miles) BtR, passed Black Rider Stopping Place (31 miles)
Posts: 1,548
Tuor of Gondolin has just left Hobbiton.
Pipe Dunedain policy vis-a-vis hobbits: wise or flawed?

At The Council of Elrond Aragorn says:
Quote:
If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so. That has been the task of my kindred, while the years have lenghened and the grass has grown.
This seems a clear allusion to the Dunedain policy of policing outside Bree and
the Shire (and more?)by keeping out threats while those protected were
unaware of their efforts or the extent of possible dangers.
Question: was this a wise policy? I'm not sure myself. You can see plusses and
minuses to this policy. Hobbits did fend off wolves in the Long Winter and orcs
(led by the Bullroarer) at the Battle of Greenfields, and, of course, The Scouring
of the Shire. With Ranger assistance they could have been a significant local force, but.....
1) might this new military presence have drawn attention to them?
And 2) More pertinent to Aragorn and the Dunedains' philosophy, might this have changed the very nature of hobbits and their land (in Vietnam War terms
"destroying the village [philosophically, not literally] in order to save it"?

An analogy could be the U.S. since the onset of the Cold War (c. 1948). Before
that the U.S. seemed to have an almost hobbitish inclination to shun the rest of
the world and turn inward after a war. But with an increasing belief in the
importance of a strong standing military [long before 9/11] and attachment to
what Eisenhower called the "military-industrial complex" seems to have come a
marked decrease in toleration for dissent and other views (such as pacifism),
which Tolkien noted in one of his Letters (about Tom Bombadil?) was an
admirable concept, if not always a feasable option. This is not to say that
military preparedness (and even in rare cases preemptive action)
may be necessary, but consider the absence of any real argument
questioning an essentially strongly militarized political diplomacy of the U.S. in
the world (including both Democratic and Republican expressed views, although
I personally consider the Democratic views more nuanced and less extreme).
Another example of military power use seeming to coursen outlooks could be the
British, French, Belgian (and others, including the U.S. in the Philippines) seeming
to become inured to using military force in their colonies (and for that matter, the
Dunedain of the Second Age in Middle-earth--- the latter an example of "all power
corrupting")?

If a similar result to some of the above would have eventuated in the Shire
then were the Dunedain correct? Although it seems instinctively that it would have been more advisable to have acquainted hobbits and Breefolk more with
the reality of the political situation in the late Third Age. And Bree, for one,
seemed remarkably unprepared to deal even with a modest increase in
refugees. Was any realistic alternate policy available?

P.S. This isn't intended as a political diatribe, just using what seem to me to be
possibly relevant examples to illustrate the theme considered (how should a
relatively weak polity be assisted).
__________________
Aure Entuluva!
Tuor of Gondolin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 12:59 AM   #2
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Pipe

Tuor -

Very good question! I have trouble relating this to 20th and 21st century politics, so please excuse me if I come at this from a different angle. My gut reaction is to say that, despite their concerns for the Hobbits and the desire to protect them from dangers, the Dunedain were wrong when they tried to shield the Shire from knowledge of the outside world.

One of the core problems in the Shire through much of the Third Age and continuing into the Fourth was Hobbit insularity. In Unfinished Tales, Gandalf complains about the settled ways of Hobbits and says they have lost the adventuring spirit. This is the main reason he was so pleased when he first met young Bilbo. Bilbo was one of those rare hobbits from the late Third Age who liked tales of dragons and Elves: things that were outside his normal experience. As Bilbo grew older, he succumbed to pressures about him and became more like his neighbors, much to Gandalf's dismay. It was only because he went adventuring that he was saved from his neighbors' fate of dullness and insularity.

If you look at the map of Middle-earth and carefully read the early chapters of LotR, you can see there was actually more contact with the outside in the Shire than most hobbits were willing to admit. The East-West road to the Blue Mountains ran through Shire borders so dwarf travellers were quite frequent. The Dwarves trooping through the Shire even began to speak about the Enemy and the Land of Mordor. Surely any Hobbit who heard such things might have worried that such problems would one day threaten their home. Chapter 2 says even the stay-at-home hobbits had begun to hear 'strange tales' reflective of the wider troubles in the world.

Elves were less frequently seen than Dwarves but they did pass through on the way West. Frodo and Bilbo apparently had no trouble finding Elves on their woodland jaunts, since both Hobbits had at least some skills in Elvish. Some contact with Elves is implied in LotR but even more explicitly mentioned in Unfinished Tales.

In short, the Shire was not isolated: the Hobbits may have wanted it to be, but this may have been as much a defense on their own part as a reality. There were enough visitors for the Hobbits to have some idea of the world outside. The only way they could deal with that outside world was apparently to deny its existence. And the Dunedain encouraged them in this illusion.

The Dunedain's isolationist policy fed into Hobbit insularity. The Dunedain were apparently far more reclusive than either Dwarves or Elves. Frodo and Bilbo each had experience with the latter, but had no idea that Rangers even existed. Moreover, we have Gandalf's word in Unfinished Tales that the Hobbits had not always been so insular. There was a time in their past when some Tookish types were more aware of danger and willing to go adventuring.

Many posters in the chapter-by-chapter discussion commented on Hobbit insularity, but no one alluded to the fact that the Dunedain bear some responsibility for this isolationist attitude. It is one thing to be "isolated" from the outside world so that you do not have to bear the brunt of unrest and invasions. It is another thing to "isolate" your mind so that you try to pretend the outside world doesn't exist. It seems to me that by treating the Hobbits as children, the Dunedain actively encouraged the latter way of thinking.

The thing that bothers me is that Hobbit insularity did not disappear at the end of the War of the Rings. In one respect, it actually intensified. There was a law passed, at the request of the Hobbits and endorsed by Elessar, that forbade Men from ever entering the Shire. Ostensibly this was because of the Scouring: to keep the bad guys from coming back and respecting the Shire's independence. (Even Elessar could not set foot in the Shire but could only go as far as the Bridge. )

But is this the final legacy of the War of the Rings? Is this what we learn from the fellowship and the cooperation of Men, Hobbits, Dwarves and Elves? Is isolation the only way for different free peoples to have peace? To me, this prohibition on Men is nothing more than the continuation of the old Dunedain policy of isolation. Strider the Ranger has become Aragorn the King, and the policy of isolation remains.


I love LotR, but this theme of separation has always disturbed me. We've had other threads on this general topic including one on "gated communities", and I believe Bethberry has also talked about this issue. As far as I can tell, JRRT thought that Elessar's rule regarding the Shire and its exclusion of Men was a good one. I personally have grave doubts, both about the earlier Dunedain policies of treating the Hobbits like children in order to "protect" them and the continuation of those policies as defined by Aragorn, himself once a Ranger.

If Legolas and Gimli can become close friends, if the Dwarves can mine mithril and fashion the gates of Minas Tirith, if Men and Hobbits can live peacefully together in Bree for thousands of years (the Bree of the books, not PJ's dark version), then why can't Hobbits of the Shire and Elessar throw off old ways of thinking and acknowledge that cooperation and helping each other is the best way for the free peoples of Middle-earth to safeguard their freedoms in the Fourth Age?

The two hobbits who broke the stereotype, who were most outward looking, were Frodo and Bilbo. At the end of the Third Age, they must both leave. Despite Frodo's affection for Sam, and leaving aside all questions of healing, I can't imagine Frodo being content to live in a place where not only have the Elves all departed but a Man like Faramir is excluded from even visiting him at Bag-end (the way Bilbo used to have his old buddy Dwarves visit occasionally). Pippin and Merry did keep up friendships with Men in the outside world but they had to travel all the way back to Gondor and Rohan to do so, since such relationships were effectively "forbidden" in the Shire. How very sad!

Just curious, but does anyone else feel this way about the policy and Elessar's failure, or am I the only one?
__________________
Multitasking women are never too busy to vote.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 08-24-2004 at 07:18 AM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 06:22 AM   #3
Eomer of the Rohirrim
Auspicious Wraith
 
Eomer of the Rohirrim's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 4,988
Eomer of the Rohirrim is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Eomer of the Rohirrim is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Boots

Very good points, and I must thank you for drawing to my attention a subject which I had never really considered before.

It strikes me that the Men really believed that Hobbits were a helpless race. Completely ill-equipped to deal with fighting and warfare on a large and serious scale. However wise this supposition is it is surely understandable for Kingdoms of Men - even Aragorn's - to regard Hobbits as weak and needy, and that's why they protected them so stubbornly, without regard to logic, or even total respect.

But both sides were happy enough to keep the cycle going.
__________________
Los Ingobernables de Harlond
Eomer of the Rohirrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 07:22 AM   #4
yavanna II
Registered User
 
yavanna II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: in my own little world
Posts: 142
yavanna II has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eomer of the Rohirrim

It strikes me that the Men really believed that Hobbits were a helpless race. Completely ill-equipped to deal with fighting and warfare on a large and serious scale. However wise this supposition is it is surely understandable for Kingdoms of Men - even Aragorn's - to regard Hobbits as weak and needy, and that's why they protected them so stubbornly, without regard to logic, or even total respect.

But both sides were happy enough to keep the cycle going.
Men & Elves obviously underestimated & judged hobbits coz of their shyness & height. they were so proud of themselves & didn't bother the Halflings.

Kawawang mga hobbit....
yavanna II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 07:28 AM   #5
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
But what about the fact that the Dunedain policy was actually reaffirmed by King Elessar when he condoned a law that prohibited Men from entering the Shire? Is Tolkien trying to say that this kind of separation of peoples is the only way to maintain peace and ensure independence? If so, I find that unsettling.
__________________
Multitasking women are never too busy to vote.
Child of the 7th Age is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 07:34 AM   #6
yavanna II
Registered User
 
yavanna II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: in my own little world
Posts: 142
yavanna II has just left Hobbiton.
Well that is after Elessar saw the tough & brave& courageous side of the hobbits.....
yavanna II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 08:00 AM   #7
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
But Yavanna, if he saw the tough and brave side of Hobbits, why did he still feel that the only way to keep them safe was to isolate them totally from Men? It just seems like more of the same old isolationist thinking.
__________________
Multitasking women are never too busy to vote.
Child of the 7th Age is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 08:02 AM   #8
rutslegolas
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
rutslegolas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: In Elven Lands of India
Posts: 549
rutslegolas has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to rutslegolas Send a message via Yahoo to rutslegolas
Sting

yes indeed,at the prancing pony aragorn thought of hobbits as lazy and foolish creatures ,but after the war of the ring i suppose he changed his opinion and then passed the law that men should not enter the shire.
__________________
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with the bull - The Phantom.
rutslegolas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 11:45 AM   #9
Encaitare
Bittersweet Symphony
 
Encaitare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: On the jolly starship Enterprise
Posts: 2,031
Encaitare is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
We know that hobbits, like Ents in a way, can be "roused" from their calm little rut in life to take serious action when necessary. After the War, they could have defended their country again if the situation called for it.

I always thought that Aragorn's law regarding Men in the Shire was a nice way to preserve the hobbits' way of life, but not entirely necessary. For a culture to expand and grow, it cannot be isolated from a vast and vivid world; it must be opened to it. As for the Dunedain, it would have been wiser for them to have clued the hobbits in about growing dangers, but they probably would not have been received well by most of the hobbits. Also, even the residents of Bree are unaware of the Dunedain's actions to protect them, so they were kept in the dark as well.
Encaitare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 01:48 PM   #10
Tuor of Gondolin
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Pennsylvania, WtR, passed Sarn Gebir: Above the rapids (1239 miles) BtR, passed Black Rider Stopping Place (31 miles)
Posts: 1,548
Tuor of Gondolin has just left Hobbiton.
1420!

And a complicating factor in any isolationist policy regarding hobbits is the use of
the road through the Shire by dwarves (and elves). Short of putting in a bypass
north there would still be significant contact, especially for hobbits going to Bree, and a growing mannish population north of the hobbits could lead to resentment
about not being allowed to pass through the Shire. So wouldn't the ban have to be logically extended to dwarves? But then, if Aragorn recalled family history he'd know that dwarves can get rather testy and might not care to add distance to
their journeys by having to detour in their travels, going north or south of the
Shire to travel on the East-West road. Did dwarves stop at the Green Dragon?
One would presume so. (I can lick any four hobbits in this room, hick!)

Also, there was an ongoing hobbit relationship with the wider world, Merry and
Pippin going back and forth to Gondor, one of Sam's daughters being a lady-
in-waiting, and, presumably, hobbit reading of the Red Book sparking a
continued interest in the wider world. How about travel tours to Erebor,
Fangorn, Parth Galen, and the Pelennor Fields?
__________________
Aure Entuluva!

Last edited by Tuor of Gondolin; 08-24-2004 at 01:55 PM.
Tuor of Gondolin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2004, 04:01 PM   #11
InklingElf
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 421
InklingElf has just left Hobbiton.
Send a message via AIM to InklingElf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Child of the 7th Age
But Yavanna, if he saw the tough and brave side of Hobbits, why did he still feel that the only way to keep them safe was to isolate them totally from Men? It just seems like more of the same old isolationist thinking.
To expand upon this question, I would like to ask what is the evidence/hint to Aragorn's supposed extremist decision to exclude Men from the Shire?

I think it poor logic to exclude Men or Dwarves. Wouldn't that sever relations to Gondor? To Aragorn? I don't remeber the exact page that Aragorn says this (but I think it's in Homeward Bound in ROTK) doesn't he hint on coming to the shire himself? or vice-versa?
InklingElf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 02:39 AM   #12
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
In the two variant epilogues to LotR (in Sauron Defeated) Sam gives the reason for excluding Men from the Shire as being due to the actions of the Ruffians. Of course, this kind of isolation wouldn't work, yet, the Dunedain did have an obligation to protect the inhabitants of Arnor, as they still considered themselves its rulers. Also, their protection enabled the Ring to be kept safe for over seventy years. After the war it would have been simply callous to just leave the Hobbits to the tender mercies of outsiders after all their years of being protected. Clearly they will never be as isolated again - Elves & dwarves (even Ents!) could have passed through the Shire. And Merry, Pippin & Sam are effectively government officials in the post-war period. Even Aragorn himself will not enter the Shire, & awaits the hobbits at the bridge.

And after all is said & done, the Shire didn't survive forever - it did eventually get swallowed up by history, so I don't think Tolkien is offering us a 'happily ever after' scenario here. Having said that, as Flieger has pointed out, for all his condemnation of these gated communities with their 'embalming' tendencies & isolationism, on some level he wanted just that. He liked the idea that the Shire could continue just as it had always been, untouched by the tides of time - & I can't help feeling that Aragorn probably felt the same - 'May the Shire live forever unwithered'. Its a hold over from the Third Age, the time before the magic went away. So much has been lost with the fall of Sauron, the desire to hold on to what little is left is understandable, perhaps.

In the end, I think Tolkien himself was torn in two - part of him knew that this 'embalming' approach was wrong, unfeasable & ultimately ridiculous, as it would simply turn the past into a kind of theme park, yet at the same time the loss of such places was heart breaking to him. LotR may end with the Shire under the protection of the King, & men banned from entering, yet it begins with a prologue telling us that it all disappeared a very long time ago.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 07:12 AM   #13
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Silmaril

Davem,

I think you have put your finger on the heart of the problem: the reason for Tolkien's isolationism in the Shire, at least in terms of the ending of the book. Part of him wanted to preserve or embalm the past, much the same as the Elves in Lothlorien. He actually commented on this at some point in the letters. In this particular case, he was presumably motivated by a desire to protect his remembered images of the West Midlands as exemplified by the Hobbits.

His setting up a barrier aroundthe Shire is reminiscent of a number of devices used in the wider Legendarium. The three obvious ones that come to mind are the girdle of Melian, the encircling mountains of Gondolin, and of course the bent road set up to guard the way West at the fall of Numenor (to say nothing of Lothlorien's own defenses). In these cases Tolkien used geographical and/or 'magical' barriers to protect a culture. Within the Shire, he employed Man's law to try and protect the land itself and the best character traits of those who lived there.

Yes, I suppose we can treat the Shire as the "exception", the wonderful magic land where a bit of the past is preserved when we all know that in reality it has all been swept away. And in a general sense, he does indicate the passge of time and people in the prologue. Yet, as an author, Tolkien wasn't willing to admit that particular reality in terms of Hobbits. It's clear from the book that Elves, Dwarves, and Ents are gone from our world. Yet, in the early pages of LotR, Tolkien can't help telling us that there are still some Hobbits about in the recesses of the English countryside, although somewhat diminished in size, a device that seems almost reminiscent of those tiny goblin feet, which he had grown to dislike. Once again the Hobbits are the exception: Tolkien just couldn't bring himself to let them go the way of the Elves or the Ents.

But what about the fact that it wasn't only in the Shire where Men were refused entry? There's also the Woses. This can't be the author preserving treasured images. To me, it's always seemed like a veiled comment on man's imperialism and the destruction of less technological cultures.

Viewed as the effort to protect treasured images from the past, or as a protest against Men who run roughshod over cultures different than their own, I should perhaps be more willing to let the author off the hook with his little device regarding the Shire. After all, I'm a historian and a card-carrying curmudgeon. There are certainly cases where I wish I had the means to preserve certain things from my own past that I have since seen the world sweep away.

Yet I am unwilling to accept Tolkien's gated community at face value. My main problem is that such a device flies in the face of the themes the author so carefully developed in his book. The fellowship itself started with a group of nine but was gradually expanded throughout the tale to include more and more folk of divergent backgrounds. Again and again, JRRT suggests the free peoples of Middle-earth succeeded because, unlike the baddies, they had two things: imagination and the ability to cooperate with each other (plus a bit of luck or providence). Why show the budding friendships (and marriages) between those of different races and backgrounds if, at the end, your response is to take a step backwards and re-create the isolationism that existed at the beginning of the story?

It almost seems as if Tolkien is saying the only time we can (perhaps should?) sweep such barriers away is when we are actively engaged in a struggle of cosmic portions against the forces of the Shadow. When victory comes, even temporary victory, we can dispense with such things and retreat back into our gated community. I still find that image disturbing, even when understanding why it arose in Tolkien's mind.
__________________
Multitasking women are never too busy to vote.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 08-25-2004 at 11:24 AM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 12:57 PM   #14
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
It is interesting that the end of LotR is the end of the Middle earth that Tolkien has built up in the greatest detail. All the cultures, the history he has created, the greatest flowering of his creation happens at the end of the story of that world. In other words, there isn't a tailing off, but rather a crescendo. Middle earth passes not with a whimper but with a bang.

What is preserved is the Shire, almost in a desperate effort on the part of Elessar (& Tolkien) to hold onto something of the past, yet what is held onto is in many ways the most simple thing in that world. The hobbits are in many ways the most vulnerable race in Middle earth - the greater races - Elves in particular - bring their destruction on themselves, but the hobbits will pass from the world not because of their own failings, but because the world of men will impinge on them & drive them to virtual extinction, & certainly their way of life will pass away. They are the supremely vulnerable race, because their survival will not depend on themselves. I can't help feeling that Aragorn's decree is a tacit admission that they can only survive if others, stronger than themselves, work to ensure that survival.

Ultimately, for all their faults, they are helpless - yes, they can see off the ruffians, but only when they outnumber them massively. The hobbits' tragedy is that they are so small & innocent. In a middle earth which is sparsely populated they can survive unnoticed, yet their innocence (& it is a moral innocence - no hobbit has ever killed another on purpose in the Shire) makes them vulnerable. They will pass into the woods & lonely places - like any Elves that remain in the world. Yet the elves can leave, & such a fate is their choice. The hobbits don't have such a choice, because they have no-where to go.

I think Aragorn is simply acknowleging that hard reality. What happens to the hobbits under Saruman is a horror, & if Sam, Merry & Pippin hadn't returned they would have been enslaved & that would have killed them. Just those three hobbits ensured the survival of the race. Their race story is a tragedy. They appear out of nowhere, settle & make a peaceful home for themselves, save the world, & disappear again.

When Aragorn bans Men from entering the Shire he is acknowledging a harsh fact about his own race. It is Men who will destroy the hobbits in the end, not anything the hobbits could do to themselves (yet it is also men who will ensure their survival for as long as possible).

The Woses are in the same position - they won't survive for long either. So the question is, do we struggle to artificially keep alive the vulnerable, or simply shrug our collective shoulders & leave them to their fate? We can condemn Aragorn (& Tolkien) for the solution he comes up with, but what other alternative does he have?
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 06:12 PM   #15
akhtene
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
akhtene's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: stronghold of the North
Posts: 392
akhtene has just left Hobbiton.
Davem,
your post is what I was actually thinking about while reading the whole thread. Hobbits had to be protected, just like ant-hills are fenced near kids’ playgrounds. An ant can bite, so what? A child can ruin its home just to know what is inside, or to try make it better (from their point of view).

Encaitare wrote
Quote:
For a culture to expand and grow, it cannot be isolated from a vast and vivid world; it must be opened to it.
I only wonder why so many distinctive cultures of the world have nowadays been reduced to mere tourist attractions

Hobbits were not locked in the shire. They could go anywhere if they wished. But they were really given a choice – to remain what they were or to interact with other peoples and change – and the choice was left to them.
Besides, the King’s law was probably the only way to prevent a flood of intruders, even wishing well. Just think of the crowds of admirers willing to see the savers of the world, or just curious of the ‘newly discovered’ land and people, or even going to take advantage of their size and physical strength (as private property is not much respected in or just after wartime).

No law holds forever, but it gave time for the hobbits to get used to the changing world around them, and for Men – to lose acute interest. To my mind, as a temporary measure it was definitely a wise decision
__________________
Где найти мне сил, чтобы вернуться через века,
Чтобы ты - простил?..
А трава разлуки высока...
akhtene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2004, 07:34 PM   #16
Encaitare
Bittersweet Symphony
 
Encaitare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: On the jolly starship Enterprise
Posts: 2,031
Encaitare is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
I only wonder why so many distinctive cultures of the world have nowadays been reduced to mere tourist attractions
You make a very good point about how people would want to visit the Shire; I had never thought about that before! This does make Aragorn's desire to preserve the Shire and its innocence that much more understandable.
Encaitare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2004, 05:04 PM   #17
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
Pipe Hobbit integration

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Their race story is a tragedy. They appear out of nowhere, settle & make a peaceful home for themselves, save the world, & disappear again ... When Aragorn bans Men from entering the Shire he is acknowledging a harsh fact about his own race. It is Men who will destroy the hobbits in the end, not anything the hobbits could do to themselves (yet it is also men who will ensure their survival for as long as possible) ... We can condemn Aragorn (& Tolkien) for the solution he comes up with, but what other alternative does he have?
But the tragedy of the Hobbits, and Aragorn's limited choice, arises solely from the fact that Tolkien wrote his Middle-earth tales as an account of our own world's long-lost history. Given this approach, what choice did he have but to write Hobbits out of the story (or at least into the hidden, secluded spots of the world), given that we do not see any Hobbits around us today?

Had he written Middle-earth as a truly fictional world, he could have had the Hobbits integrate with the world of men through greater interaction and understanding, in a larger scale version of the community of Bree. Which I think is what Child was getting at with her unease at Aragorn's (and before that the Dunedain's) policy. In an ideal world, it ought to be possible for Hobbits and Men to integrate. And it is possible in reality for peoples of different cultures and traditions to integrate (although there are, sadly, far too many examples of where they have been unable to do so ).
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2004, 04:58 AM   #18
yavanna II
Registered User
 
yavanna II's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: in my own little world
Posts: 142
yavanna II has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Child of the 7th Age
But Yavanna, if he saw the tough and brave side of Hobbits, why did he still feel that the only way to keep them safe was to isolate them totally from Men? It just seems like more of the same old isolationist thinking.
ya know what? I don't know!
Maybe he was scared history's gonna reapeat itself....
gee that's only my assumption.........
yavanna II is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:40 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.