Lord of the Rings
|by Diane Singer|
In my British Literature class today, I'm doing a lecture on J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, so my mind has been in Middle-Earth for the past several days as I've been working on the lesson. I once heard Professor Ralph Woods remark about a student of his who said, "Reading LOTR makes me feel clean." I love that line because I think it speaks to why the books (and now their excellent film adaptations) continue to have such an impact. They're books that are infused with Christian values, though there is nothing overtly religious in any of them. Yet they speak of self-sacrificing love, honor, courage, mercy, tenacity, endurance, friendship, and the willingness to fight against evil, and even die, so that others may live in peace and safety. It also speaks of hope. Tolkien understood the deadly nihilism of post-World War I culture, and he wrote the book to counter the rejection of traditional values and the cultural and personal pessimism that was so evident in his lifetime (and is so much worse in our own day).
So, fellow Tolkien fans, why do you love Lord of the Rings?