Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Tolkien: Natural vs. Artificial Beauty
Today as I listened to the presentations being given, I noticed that it was several times mentioned that Tolkien appreciated nature and natural beauty nearly above all else. These types of statements led me to recall Tolkien's somewhat strange attitude towards the Dwarven races. It appears to me that Tolkien ties in his love of nature in its purity to the Dwarves' misfortunes, especially regarding Smaug and the Balrog. Is Tolkien stating that because the Dwarves marred the natural beauty of the mountains and caves that they are punished? Or simply conveying a warning against greed? He seems to portray the Dwarves as a wholesome race, yet with the fatal flaw of greed, and I couldn't help but wonder if this was tied into what he sees as an intrusion (although materially and aesthetically beautiful) upon nature?