J.R.R. Tolkien

by Anne-Lys from Villeurbanne

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in 1892 in South Africa. After his father’s death when he was four years old, he moved with his mother and his brother to England. There, "he spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures." His mother died when he was only twelve. He began his studies, first in King Edward’s School where he met his future wife, Edith, then at Oxford. During the First World War, he served as a lieutenant and fought in the battle of the Somme. It is there that he began to think about the story of another world, which would become the Middle Earth. After the war, "he had a distinguished academic career and was recognized as one of the finest philologists in the world." He held numerous professorships and was awarded many prestigious prizes. He died in 1973.

In spite of his interesting life and his brilliant career, it is his literary work which makes him outstanding. His influence on modern culture, literary and cinematographic, is considerable. He opened the door to the way fantasy epics are written to this day, and to the morality play, which is very popular nowadays.

"One Morning Long Ago"
"One Morning Long Ago"

He began to write for his children and told them the story of The Hobbit, which immediately became a classic. After this first publication, he was asked by his publisher for a sequel, and he eventually wrote The Lord of the Rings, the book which would make him recognized by readers from all around the world. He spent over a decade creating the world of Middle Earth.

Tolkien is very remarkable for his prolific imagination. Through his writing, he has created an entire world with its unique populations and culture, geography and history. He even made up dozens of languages for the elves, the dwarves and all the creatures of his mythology. Some of these creatures, like the dwarves, were already mentioned in the books of other authors before him, but some others, like the famous hobbits, are the fruit of his imagination. All of his works take place in this special world; they are all linked. That is why the works of Tolkien have a different dimension than the other authors.

To conclude, I think Tolkien can be considered as a hero because he has the capacity to make his readers dream and escape from reality, and this is a very rare and precious talent. He has created a whole world, full of beautiful stories and tragedies, from which we can take lessons for our way of thinking and even our life in the real world.

Page created on 6/22/2006 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/22/2006 12:00:00 AM

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