Term Paper: John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien: A Writer

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John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien: A Writer for all Seasons (and Audiences)

Introduction author quotation statement of time, place, genre thesis statement

Historical Background historic introduction world events during childhood world events during maturity world events during old age conclusion sentence

Youth-events and writings a.

A maturity-events and writings b.

A old age-events and writings c.

A what is he/she famous for d.

A conclusion sentence for a sample of writers work a.

A eight-line sample of writers work b.

A my personal analysis of authors style using your literary terms c.

A my conclusions sentence for literary criticisms a.

A critic 1 b.

A critic 2 c.

A conclusion sentence

Conclusion what I learned what I liked what research and library techniques I used how I was inspired concluding comment

John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien: A Writer for all Seasons (and Audiences)

Perhaps the reason that the works of British author John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien continually strike such a universal chord among readers of all ages, and from all parts of the world is that Tolkien himself believed, and lived, the same personal, moral and religious values he implies within the Hobbit (1938) and Lord of the Rings (1954). Tolkien's works are often referred to as allegories, or works meaning something larger than themselves. Tolkien's work is fantasy, and is also rich in symbolism, meaning symbols (like the ring) that stand for something greater than themselves). Tolkien also uses a great deal of foreshadowing, or hinting at what will happen next, in his work. In a sense, as Tolkien himself once suggested, he himself even was what he wrote about, that is, "a hobbit in all but size" ("The Tolkien Trail"):

I am in fact a hobbit in all but size. I like gardens, trees, unmechanized farm lands, I smoke a pipe and like good, plain food-unrefrigerated-but I detest

French cooking. I like -- and even dare to wear in these dull days-ornamental waistcoats. I'm fond of mushrooms out of a field, have a very simple sense of humor (which even my most appreciative critics find tiresome). I go to bed late, and get up late, when possible.

According to "Q & a with Clay Harper," ever since Tolkien's first novel, the Hobbit, appeared in 1938, all of the works of Tolkien have been exceedingly popular, and widely read by all age groups:

In the mid-1960s, the first paperback editions were authorized, and the novels became immediate bestsellers. By the 1970s, Tolkien's work was very popular on American college campuses and inspired everything from Led Zeppelin lyrics to graffiti and buttons (the inspirational slogan "Frodo Lives" and the satirical "Gandalf for President"). Animated films of the Hobbit produced by Rankin/Bass and then a portion of the Lord of the Rings, directed by Ralph

Bakshi, appeared on the scene. The Dungeons and Dragons phenomenon was partly inspired by Tolkien's work, and it could be argued that the big fantasy sections in bookstores today owe a large part of their existence to Tolkien's popularity. But there has never been anything like the massive audience growth we've experienced over the last few years, coinciding with the epic motion picture trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.

Whatever the reasons (and they are probably individual and varied for every reader of Tolkien) very few authors, or any of their works, have had as much or as lasting of an impact on succeeding generations of readers as have those of John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien (1892-1973) author of the Hobbit (1938) and Lord of the Rings (1955) a trilogy that includes the Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers, and the Return of the King. and, with the recent popularity of the movie versions of all three parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy it is likely, moreover, that more people than ever, all over the world, now are reading (and rereading) books by Tolkien, and passing them on to their children, grandchildren, and friends. In this essay, I will discuss the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien, and the ways his works were shaped by Tolkien's personal background and convictions, religious beliefs, and the historical and social events and milieu of his time. World events during Tolkien's lifetime were varied and interesting. The world, and England's place in it, changed very much during Tolkien's lifetime. John Ronald Reuel R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3rd, 1892, a time in world history when the sun was still shining on the British Empire. The author's birthplace was actually the town of Bloemfontein, which is now considered to be a part of South Africa, although his parents themselves were both English by birth. In world events at this time, it was very common within the British Empire (which stretched into Africa, India, Canada, the Caribbean, and many other areas all over the world) for British subjects to journey abroad, to visit, to live, or to work, either to seek adventure of for work opportunities that did not exist as plentifully in Great Britain itself, or perhaps for both. J.R.R. Tolkien's own parents, at the time of his birth, lived and worked abroad. That is how Tolkien, a British subject all his life, came to be born in South Africa. Two other well-known, later, British writers also born abroad of British parents were Doris Lessing and Iris Murdoch. The major world event that occurred during Tolkien's young adulthood was World War I, a War in which he served, in the British military. Tolkien lived through World War II, but did not serve in that war. Tolkien saw the sun set on the British Empire, beginning in the late 1930's, and saw Great Britain replaced by the United States as the leading power of the Western world. In his own country, Tolkien saw Elizabeth II crowned Queen in 1948, and lived long enough to experience the turbulent decade of the 1960's, including the phenomenal international popularity of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and other British rock groups. and, since Tolkien was also a University of Oxford professor, he no doubt experienced the student unrest of that period. Tolkien lived long enough to see astronauts fly into outer space, and for America to land a man on the moon in 1969. Given his own interest in inner space, that particular event no doubt especially fascinated him. When Tolkien died in 1973, the world was nothing whatsoever like the one he had been born into in 1892.

As for the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's personal life, they were unusual, varied, and in many ways sad, especially during his childhood. Tolkien's parents, Mabel and Arthur, were both employed at a South Africa bank at the time of his birth. The future author, John Ronald Reuel was their first child, and then his brother, named Hilary, was born 1894. Because John was a sickly child, however, his mother returned with him and his younger brother to England when John was three years old. She had been told by doctors that a change of climate would likely improve his health. Meanwhile, John's father stayed behind in South Africa to continue working, to support his family back home. In 1896, however, John's father died, without ever rejoining his family in England. John's mother did not return to South Africa, "settled in the village of Sarehole, near Birmingham" ("Tolkien Trail"). Then, on October 15, 1904, tragedy again struck the family when Mabel Tolkien died of complications from diabetes. At 12, the life of the future Lord of the Rings author must have been very much saddened by the loss of both parents, and with an even younger brother to look after. At that point, according to "Tolkien Trail":

Mabel Tolkien entrusted the boys with a priest, Father Francis Morgan, so that they would remain Catholic. Father Morgan found the boys lodging first at an aunt's home and then at a boarding house. At the boarding house, he met and fell and love with Edith Mary Bratt. However, she was of a different faith and was three years older than him, so the relationship was secretive. When they were discovered, Edith was sent to an uncle's house and the two were forbidden to communicate. Tolkien entered Oxford University in 1911, at Exeter College. He studied Anglo-Saxon and other languages, which became his academic profession. After finishing four years at Oxford, Tolkien enlisted in the army during World War I. As Dough states, of Tolkien's military service: Unlike so many of his contemporaries, Tolkien did not rush to join up immediately on the outbreak of war, but returned to Oxford, where he worked hard and finally achieved a first-class degree in June 1915" ("Who Was Tolkien?"

After that, he served in the British military as "a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers" (Doughan). Tolkien's army service was cut short when he developed a typhus-like disease, trench fever, and returned home to England in 1917 (Doughan). Tolkien married his childhood sweetheart, Edith, before leaving for the war. ("The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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