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Modern Literature Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Enchantment: A Teleology, Nathanael S. Toth Apr 2019

Enchantment: A Teleology, Nathanael S. Toth

Senior Honors Theses

Despite the highly developed nature of his fictional world, Middle-earth, Tolkien never formally laid out a tabulated magic system for his fantasy creation. Nevertheless, unlike many stories by others in the fantasy genre, the magic he does include is far from just a shallow, world-building mechanism. Instead, it encapsulates the core theme of his fiction and the purposes which Ilúvatar (the God of Middle-earth) has given to the story’s many characters.

This paper will examine the nature and function of this magic from many angles: the identification of good magic with art and evil magic with domination; the delineation ...


Of The Silmarils And The Ring: J. R. R. Tolkien's Fiction And The Importance Of Creation And Art, Michael Hartinger Jan 2018

Of The Silmarils And The Ring: J. R. R. Tolkien's Fiction And The Importance Of Creation And Art, Michael Hartinger

Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

J. R. R. Tolkien embodies the opposing ideals of Enchantment and the Machine in the Silmarils and the One Ring respectively. These created objects oppose each other just as Tolkien’s ideals of art do. Enchantment is art’s ideal, it's purpose is to glorify and enrich the beauty of reality through subcreation. The Silmarils exhibit the delight of making and perceiving beauty. Whereas the Machine is art’s shadowy reflection that utilizes apparatuses or devices rather than personal talent in order to coerce others and reality itself. Overall Tolkien's aesthetic theories reflect many fears surrounding modern attitudes ...


Building Imaginary Worlds (2012) By Mark J.P. Wolf And Revisiting Imaginary World (2016) Edited By Mark J.P. Wolf, Andrew Higgins May 2017

Building Imaginary Worlds (2012) By Mark J.P. Wolf And Revisiting Imaginary World (2016) Edited By Mark J.P. Wolf, Andrew Higgins

Journal of Tolkien Research

Book review of Building Imaginary Worlds (2012) by Mark J.P. Wolf and Revisiting Imaginary Worlds (2016), edited by Mark J.P. Wolf, reviewed by Andrew Higgins


Tom Bombadil And Goldberry: Romantic Theology As Revelation In Tolkien’S The Lord Of The Rings, Brandon Best Apr 2016

Tom Bombadil And Goldberry: Romantic Theology As Revelation In Tolkien’S The Lord Of The Rings, Brandon Best

The Research and Scholarship Symposium

While the majority of literary critics suggest Tom Bombadil either subverts or dilutes the Rivendell’s against Mordor, this essay analyzes Bombadil and Goldberry through the romantic theology of Charles Williams, Tolkiens’ fellow Inkling. William’s romantic theology suggests romantic experiences reveals glimpses of perfection, suggesting the Hobbits’ stay at Tom Bombadil’s home within Withywindle reveals the ideal of salvation within The Lord of the Rings. Utilizing Williams’ Outlines of Romantic Theology, this essay shows how Tolkien’s vision for an ideal community guides Bombadil as the moral model for the rest of the free peoples to follow. While ...


The Enchanter's Spell: J.R.R. Tolkien's Mythopoetic Response To Modernism, Adam D. Gorelick Nov 2013

The Enchanter's Spell: J.R.R. Tolkien's Mythopoetic Response To Modernism, Adam D. Gorelick

FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations

J.R.R. Tolkien was not only an author of fantasy but also a philologist who theorized about myth. Theorists have employed various methods of analyzing myth, and this thesis integrates several analyses, including Tolkien’s. I address the roles of doctrine, ritual, cross-cultural patterns, mythic expressions in literature, the literary effect of myth, evolution of language and consciousness, and individual invention over inheritance and diffusion. Beyond Tolkien’s English and Catholic background, I argue for eclectic influence on Tolkien, including resonance with Buddhism.

Tolkien views mythopoeia, literary mythmaking, in terms of sub-creation, human invention in the image of God ...


"Just A Fool's Hope": J.R.R. Tolkien's Eucatastrophe As The Paradigm Of Christian Hope, Margaret A. Bush Jul 2012

"Just A Fool's Hope": J.R.R. Tolkien's Eucatastrophe As The Paradigm Of Christian Hope, Margaret A. Bush

Senior Honors Theses

In his essay titled “On Fairy-Stories,” J.R.R. Tolkien uses the term “eucatastrophe” to describe the unexpected, fortunate turn of events for the protagonist in a fantasy story. Tolkien applies the word beyond its literary context to signify the Christian’s experience of joy, especially resulting from the Incarnation and Resurrection. Such an explicit link between fiction and theology seems absent from his more well-known work, The Lord of the Rings. Yet both Tolkien himself and critics of his writing have labeled the novel a modern-day classic of Christian literature. This thesis will defend the Christian label of The ...