Tolkien, J. R. R. - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Man and Nature Vs. Technology

In a 1951 letter to an editor, Tolkien commented that The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion (1977) were primarily concerned with "the Fall, Mortality, and the Machine." He explained that the Machine (or magia, magic) were plans or devices that dominated, either by destroying the environment or by controlling the wills of people (Carpenter 2000, pp. 145, 146). His Middle-earth writings (The Hobbit [1937], The Silmarillion, The Lord of the Rings, the posthumously published Unfinished Tales [1980], and the twelve-volume History of Middle Earth [1982–1996]), can be understood as at least a partial response to a modern world that was embracing industry and technology. Tolkien believed the Machine (technology) was destroying his beautiful, rural, Edwardian countryside (represented in The Hobbit by the peaceful Shire) with wars, factories, cars, railroads, and pollution, and he saw no end in sight. He passed on his distaste for mechanization to...

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This section contains 1,348 words
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Buy the Tolkien, J. R. R. Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Tolkien, J. R. R. from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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