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Othering and Diversity in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: A Positive Presentation of Difference
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
"Othering" och mångfald i J.R.R. Tolkiens Sagan om ringen trilogi : En positiv presentation av olikhet (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is greatly diverse in species, races, and ethnicities which is a fact that over the decades has engendered great scholarly discussions about hidden racism in the literary work. Therefore, an analysis of intercultural matters and encounters realized throughout the story is relevant for detecting a possible racist ideology. By applying the postcolonial concept “Othering,” which is an act of differentiation, this essay analyzes racist instances in the story, and the result of or opposition to those, in order to indicate the presence of an anti-Othering ideology in the trilogy. The analysis is conducted through discussion of Othering of other species/races/ethnicities caused by blind trust in one’s own group, Othering inside one’s own group, Othering of other species/races/ethnicities, and discussion about instances of multicultural acceptance. Considering Tolkien’s relationship to nature, this discussion also extends to Othering of nature. Consequently, this essay concludes how The Lord of the Rings trilogy arguably is against Othering since the story generally presents the act as negative to others, oneself, and/or one’s beloved as well as contains instances which simply convey a positive view of multiculturalism.

Abstract [sv]

Sagan om ringen trilogin är väldigt mångfaldig i arter, raser och etniciteter vilket genom årtionden har genererat storskaliga akademiska diskussioner om förekomsten av en dold rasism i det litterära verket. Därmed är en analys av de interkulturella angelägenheter och möten som tar plats under berättelsens gång relevant för att upptäcka en möjlig rasistisk ideologi. Genom att applicera det postkoloniala konceptet ”Othering”, vilket är en differentieringsakt, analyserar denna uppsats rasistiska instanser i berättelsen och resultatet av eller oppositionen till dessa för att indikera förekomsten av en motståndsideologi till ”Othering” i trilogin. Analysen genomförs genom diskussioner om ”Othering” av andra arter/raser/etniciteter orsakade av blind tilltro till ens egen grupp, ”Othering” inom ens egen grupp, ”Othering” av andra arter/raser/etniciteter och diskussion om instanser av multikulturell acceptans. Med tanke på Tolkiens relation till naturen sträcker sig även denna diskussion till ”Othering” av naturen. Denna uppsats drar följaktligen slutsatsen att Sagan om ringen trilogin är emot ”Othering” eftersom berättelsen generellt sett presenterar aktionen som negativ för andra, en själv och ens älskade, såväl som innehåller instanser som helt enkelt förmedlar en positiv syn på multikulturalism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 18 p.
Keyword [en]
othering, the lord of the rings, tolkien, diversity
Keyword [sv]
othering, sagan om ringen, tolkien, mångfald
National Category
Specific Literatures
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-47810OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-47810DiVA: diva2:1070619
Subject / course
English
Educational program
Secondary Education Programme: Upper - Secondary School: Spanish (330 ECTS credits)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-02-02 Created: 2017-02-02Bibliographically approved

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