Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tolkien Criticism

One criticism I actually agreed with from Grant's, Lorin's, and Aly's presentation was that for as evil as Sauron is supposed to be, he's really not very awe-inspiring. He's just this huge eye for basically the entire book (except for prologue parts, etc.). We can see his power through his servants like the Wringwraiths and the Orcs and through his coercion of several respected characters (i.e. Saruman, Denethor, Boromir, etc.). But Sauron in himself is not too scary. I even laughed out loud at one point in the movies when Sauron's Eye is basically a spotlight! There's a lot of buildup throughout the books for this great villain, but in the end his lack of embodied appearance is kind of a letdown.

4 comments:

Theodred said...

While I was also slightly disappointed that Saurn turned out to only be an eye and to not have a complete physical body, I also think it is this quality that makes him so terrifying. He is not terrifying because of his appearance, but because of the amount of power he wields. He does not need a physical body to show his might, whether he is corrupting a previously moral character, or instilling fear through the use of his servants. Perhaps he was not given a physical body because a physical body would be unable to accurately portray the amount of influence and power that Sauron has.

Diamond Took said...

I think it's an interesting choice and I'm not sure it would altogether be a better book if Sauron came out in physical form. He has a supernatural quality about him. In fact he is just an embodiment of evil (without the "embodi"). I don't think the story requires him to walk and talk. We get enough of that from the multitude of other characters that are both good and evil. If it is a disappointment for me then it is only that my curiosity is left hungry. Seems to me that novels that don't answer all questions or fulfill all expectations tend to be the best.

Fingolfin said...

I would agree...in my opinion, Sauron was slightly disappointing as a villain. It may have even been possible that if Tolkien were to emphasize and write about the battle with Gandalf and the other wizards against the "Necromancer" AKA Sauron, we might have gotten a greater glimpse into his villainy. As it is, we never see Sauron actually do anything; he merely persuades others to do what he wants, a trait any leader also has. If it wasn't for the fact that I've read articles in which Tolkien states that there aren't any allegorical examples in Lord of The Rings, I might make a comparison of Sauron to other foreign leaders in World War I and II.

Haleth said...

I think Sauron is so creepy and terrifying because he is basically omnipresent. He's just this huge overlying doom that is going to take over all of Middle-earth.