Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pieces of Evil

One thing that I found really interesting today in class was what Dr. Donovan was saying about Tolkien just showing pieces of evil, but never a full picture. It is interesting how we have scattered descriptions of orcs faces or breath or feet and also Sauron's eye and Sauron's mouth. We saw the same sort of thing in "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth" when we only saw shadows of the enemy walking around. I think that Tolkien did this partly because of what we were talking about in class, to give more imaginative liscense to the readers/listeners. However, I think it could be more than that. I think these pieces make the enemy more misterious and more sinister. People in general like to have a full description, to know their enemy, and by not giving this to us, Tolkien makes us feel more vulnerable. We don't know exactly what we're up against which makes it even more evil and scary. So, I think Tolkien only gave us pieces to keep us guessing about what exactly our enemy is and what they are capable of. It really adds to the suspense and fear that Tolkien's little bits of descriptions give us.

1 comment:

Elladan said...

Tolkien was absolutely in favor of leaving the details of evil incarnate up to readers' imaginations. This allows for a personal experience when reading his works. This is also one of the main reasons Peter Jackson's job was so difficult as far as visually expressing those types of characters and the emotions they arouse when present.