John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

by Florian from France

137669J.R.R. TolkienRogelio A. Galaviz C. - Flickr [Public domain]John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in 1892 in South Africa. He moved to England with his brother, Hilary, and his mother when he was three, because of a baboon spider bite. Regrettably, his father died in 1896 before he could join them, and his mother's death from diabetes in 1904 left the two brothers without an income. His mother had awakened in Ronald a passion for plants and botany, so he drew landscapes and trees often. Nevertheless, he preferred lessons concerning languages. His mother had taught him early on the rudiments of Latin. He was able to read when he was four and wrote fluently soon afterwards.

He was brought up by Father Francis Xavier Morgan of the Birmingham Oratory. He studied in the Exeter College of the University of Oxford and graduated with a first-class degree in English language. Soon afterwards he joined the British Army effort in World War I and served as a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. Serving as a communications officer in the Battle of the Somme, he caught trench fever and was moved back to England in November 1916. In the 1920s he began a list of professions in universities and colleges where he worked as a professor.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote several well-known books such as The Book of Lost Tales, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit or There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings - the most famous ones - and Unfinished Tales, which are all linked. Even though he wrote those fabulous works, he did a more impressive thing through them: he completely created a whole new world and filled it with numerous almighty characters and beasts, many of whom have their own language (such as the Elven people and their two languages). He did this incredible work his whole life. Indeed, his work began as he discovered new places and new people who inspired him.

There are several reasons that account for my choice to consider Tolkien as a hero. First, because of Tolkien's marvelous books, one's mind is apt to forget about everything in one's life and escape from one's daily problems. Therefore, these books offer the reader a real trip, which lasts an incredible amount of time, into a new and imaginary world. Then, all of the stories he wrote are filled with moral values and themes, which were inspired by his feelings during World War I and his childhood, such as mercy and pity, salvation, repentance, self-sacrifice, free will, justice, fellowship, authority and healing. Moreover, every single one of his characters stands up for a moral value. For instance, Saruman's bad will of industrialisation against nature embodies Tolkien's anxiety about the rise of urbanisation and industrialisation into the traditional English countryside and is, in a justified way, scaremongering; Frodo's hope while he reaches the end of everything is a really good model for everybody. In a certain way, Tolkien tells the readers, through his heroes' acts, how they should or should not behave.

Finally, he is not merely a hero for his works, but he is also himself a part of the admiration he inspires. He is a real role model because of his behaviour. For instance, he fell in love with Edith Mary Bratt at the age of sixteen while he was raised by Father Francis. However, he neither saw nor wrote her letters as Father Francis imposed upon him, until he was twenty-one, to keep his mind on studies. He also is a role model for his great knowledge, which he gained through tough, careful and applied work.

J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the most important people of the 20th century. He was an unintended hero, and will still impress people in centuries to come, both by his character and by his great work.

Page created on 7/31/2012 10:55:54 PM

Last edited 1/4/2020 5:48:52 AM

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The Tolkien Society - is an international educational organization whose mission is to encourage and further interest in the life and works of the late Professor J.R.R. Tolkien.

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