High: Language of the Counterculture
representations of un-reality
_People ask what my thesis is about. Well, SOME people ask. Most don't care._
Tolkien's Sacred Marriage: Coupling in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion
I intend to discuss how Tolkien represents his female characters as archetypal wives and mothers. By including classical feminine types in his stories, he honors the two women with whom he had the most contact: his mother and his wife.
Although he knew his mother only briefly, she was, nonetheless, his mother -- a relationship which is special to any boy, no matter how brief the interaction.^1^ Tolkien's courtship of his wife was also met with difficulty and separation.
As an result of this, Tolkien's works were not just "boys' books," which is an argument that has revived itself with the most recent spate of popularity of his works. The release of the motion pictures brought that argument to the Internet and into the entertainment media where it was debated until as recently as the past few months.
Therefore, I would like to illuminate, by using classical and Celtic sources, why Tolkien's books appeal to female readers.^2^ I contend that Tolkien's portrayal of women, -- using archetypal Norse and Celtic themes -- is not only his homage to the women in his life, but also a meaningful way of making his works endearing to both genders.
^1^ I will look at psychology and psychological approaches to literary criticism (Freud, Jung, etc) for my research.
^2^ Proof: "Strong Girls/Strong Women" books such those written by Marion Zimmer Bradley and others. Empowered women. Tolkien's own friendship with Dorothy Sayers.
FWIW I also started a syllabus for Summer for the not-online classes. I based it heavily on the online classes and maybe that's because I am so technology-driven. Perhaps someone can take a look at it and make changes. You can find it on sharepoint: Summer Syllabus
Fredrick, Candace, and Sam McBride. Women Among the Inklings: Gender, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. Contributions in Womens Studies, No. 191. Westport: Greenwood, 2001.
Deep insight into the role of women in the lives of three great authors. Lewis' and Tolkien's experiences with the fairer sex were compromised at an early age, giving rise to the notion that the female characters in their novels were shaped largely by both men's distance from feminine influence. Williams is another story, yet his involvement in the fellowship of the Inklings is still notable and inextricable from the feminine equation.