Mudcat Café message #1073859 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #65233   Message #1073859
Posted By: Nerd
16-Dec-03 - 02:00 PM
Thread Name: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
Subject: RE: BS: ??? ending of Return Of The King???
Sorry Cluin! i misread the "voice" comment as yours.

McGrath, perceptive comments all. Tolkien would not have considered writing about war as "allegory" unless it had a one-to-one match with reality (i.e. Saruman is the Kaiser, Aragorn is Haig, etc). People tried to do that with his books relating to the second world war (Sauron is Hitler, Saruman Mussolini, and the ring is the atom bomb, for example), and he found it ridiculous and disrespectful.

Also, Clinton, while the publishers split the work into three volumes, Tolkien himself split it into parts corresponding to the six "books," so my point stands. He considered the war and the quest two major storylines running side by side, not a main plot and a subplot. The structure of the tale is in fact beautifully symmetrical. One could say either, "the war is being fought (by Arargorn et al) to give Frodo time to destroy the ring"; or, "the ring is being destroyed (by Frodo et al) to ensure that Aragorn wins the war." Each plot is necessary to the other, and neither would make sense without the other.