Study Guide

The Lord of the Rings Essay

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In the following essay, Conrad-O'Briain suggests that Tolkien's treatment of women is far more sensitive than critics have generally allowed.

Tolkien has been accused of being perfunctory in his treatment of his female characters and excused as being merely a man of his times. Looking closely at the characters in Lord of the Rings, however, it could be argued that Tolkien returned to possibilities for female participation which the epic traditionally afforded, but which were long overlooked in criticism. Tolkien's own relationships with women were obviously largely a product of his time. The early death of his mother, his marriage to a woman who was uncomfortable in Oxford intellectual circles, and the attitude of C. S. Lewis, whose misogyny was only overcome by a late marriage, all affected Tolkien. It is wrong, however, that it always affected him for the worse. Tolkien had been a student of Joseph...

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This section contains 1,934 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Lord of the Rings Study Guide
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Epics for Students
The Lord of the Rings from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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