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Study Guide

The Lord of the Rings Essay & Criticism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 186 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Lord of the Rings.
This section contains 938 words
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Critical Overview

In 1997, the Lord of the Rings was voted the greatest book of the twentieth century in a poll run by a major British bookstore chain. The results were greeted with chagrin by some critics and writers who felt this vote slighted serious literature. Their reaction was a reprise of many of the initial reviews. Tolkien criticism has been deeply divided in the nearly half century since the Wilson and Auden reviews at the time of its publication. Their reviews, it seems, set the agenda for Tolkien criticism. Writer after writer has chased sources, refuted the accusation of ethical flatness, lack of character development, and escapism. Writer after writer has struggled with their revulsion of a work that has a cult following, which belongs supposedly to a minor and marginal genre (fantasy), that superficially at least seems entirely outside the mainstream of twentieth-century literature.

Wilson, in his famous (or...

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This section contains 938 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Lord of the Rings Study Guide
Copyrights
The Lord of the Rings from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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