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Old 07-25-2021, 11:23 AM   #18
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Originally Posted by Legate of Amon Lanc View Post
I of course despise the "materialistic" Noakes ...
it seems at least to me that both the Smith and Alf are terrible jerks. The Smith spends large part of his life leaving his family and work for travelling somewhere away from them.

And as for Alf, he I find him to be quite a manipulative fellow who is terribly full of himself.

Did anyone else perceive these things as problematic or was it just me?
I wonder if you are objecting to patriarchal characters in a patriarchal society written by an author with an essentially patriarchal world view? I could imagine similar objections leveled against 'The Arabian Nights,' along the lines of 'how dare that king keep a harem, one wife ought to do for him.'

So Alf is indeed a king; kings tend to have cause to be as full of themselves as their social and political position allows, and then throw in Faerie on top of that.

As for Nokes, he is described as qualitatively different from the other villagers. They are guilty of overlooking Alf as the duly appointed next Master Cook. Nokes is guilty of something other: vanity. Thinking more of himself than is his due. And thinking less of Alf than is Alf's right. So I find it interesting Tolkien speaks of the villagers' wrongfulness matter of factly, in a sense of 'these kinds of things happen all the time and people are just like that.' Whereas with Nokes, Tolkien takes time to especially condemn the man's presumptuous vanity. What does Tolkien, I wonder, find particularly despicable about this kind of vanity as compared to the villagers' presumptuous inconsideration?
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