Title: Where was it determined elves die?
patchesbixby - February 19, 2007 05:44 AM (GMT)
I read in a lot of warnings for stories that have rape on the elves that in that particular story an elf is going to be raped but not die. Where is said they die if they are raped?
Sorry if this has been asked and answered and sorry if its in the wrong spot.
tigerlily_grubb - February 19, 2007 05:51 AM (GMT)
I first read it in this essay
. Apparently in a footnote of "Laws and Customs of the Eldar" (found in Morgoth's Ring
) Tolkien said the following:
| "Among all these evils there is no record of any among the Elves that took another's spouse by force; for this was wholly against their nature, and one so forced would have rejected bodily life and passed to Mandos. Guile or trickery in this matter was scarcely possible…for the Eldar can read at once in the eyes and voice of another whether they be wed or unwed." |
patchesbixby - February 19, 2007 06:06 AM (GMT)
Thank you so much. :biglove: :biglove: :biglove: :smooch:
I am not very familiar with all the text yet.
TheLauderdale - February 19, 2007 07:04 PM (GMT)
That's a caveat of Tolkien's that really bothered me, and I've explored it in my own fanfiction. One of my characters is a young Elf girl who is raped, not once but repeatedly. She has no idea why she's still alive.
Elrond's wife Celebrian (mother of Elrohir, Elladen and Arwen) was actually captured and tortured by Orcs, and some readers have speculated that she was raped: Tolkien refers to a "poisoned wound" that she received among them. After her sons rescued her she was healed by Elrond but she was so damaged psychologically that she could no longer find joy in Middle-earth and sailed away the following year to the Undying Lands.
AmourDuTigre - February 19, 2007 07:44 PM (GMT)
One must remember the era that the good professor came of age in, and though he wrote his stories after King Edward abdicated the throne, and thus was no longer living in the Victorian/Edwardian age, he still had those values and lived by the mores that he developed as a young child. Rape was considered so vile and abominable, that it was rarely if ever discussed. I might be mistaken, but I think that anyone that was convicted of rape at that time in the UK was hanged.
Also, homosexuality was not discussed in polite society, and he was a devout believer in the Roman church, which forbade any thought of homosexuality, and he was married and had children...yet, if one carefully reads between the lines, (slash not with standing) one can see traces of 'forbidden' feelings that made their way into the stories. Also, remember that he was a first hand witness to the great war in France...one of the biggest bloodlettings in history. This is why I think that he can capture the angst and pathos of the battle field so convincingly, and also, there were more than a few cases of 'soldierly love' in the trenches of that era.
Thus, in both cases, he used very cryptic and flowery language to hide what was really being said...and I think that like Samuel Clemens in Huck Finn with the barge scene where Huck was discovered by the bargemen, Tolkein felt pressure from family and publishers not to go into too much detail of what happened to Frodo in the tower. I think that it is obvious after reading the description of his condition when Sam found him that he had been tortured way beyond just one stroke of the whip...then the reunion with Sam...'who could have held him like that forever'...(Not exact quote)...Nay, I think the only reason Sam married Rosie is because that is what the Hobbit society required of him...to marry and procreate (very Catholic), yet I think that his real feelings were for Frodo, (an archetype of the broken spirited and war weary WWI trench soldier who lost all of his friends in battle, and is now all alone in the world), who 'left for the undying lands', which is as I see it a way of saying that he died.
Tolkein knew exactly what he was doing IMHO, and had the human emotions and feelings nailed down perfectly, including the feelings of love, loss, brotherhood, forbidden love, questioning of religious beliefs, etc. That is why his stories are so universally loved...it is a portrait of the human condition and the human 'soul'.
TheLauderdale - February 19, 2007 08:39 PM (GMT)
|One must remember the era that the good professor came of age in, and though he wrote his stories after King Edward abdicated the throne, and thus was no longer living in the Victorian/Edwardian age, he still had those values and lived by the mores that he developed as a young child. Rape was considered so vile and abominable, that it was rarely if ever discussed. I might be mistaken, but I think that anyone that was convicted of rape at that time in the UK was hanged.|
Very true, and there can be no overestimating the horror of rape. I think, though, that there is also something ugly at work among those values. There is a long standing tradition, literary and otherwise, that "Good girls die." In history and in the arts - oral traditions, plays, novels, poems, operas, ballads - raped women are invariably described as ruined and are nearly always dispatched afterwards. They kill themselves or they are killed, they die in childbirth or they waste away. It's true that many survivors of rape feel defiled and wish they were dead, but I think this tradition also reflects a larger historical/societal discomfort with living victims, with "ruined women." It still exists today - look at the honor killings in some cultures, where raped girls are murdered by a father or a brother for bringing shame upon their family.
I'm not saying that Tolkien would ever have suggested anything like that: I'm sure the very notion would have appalled him. However, his Elves are such emblems of shining purity, it is not surprising that they would reject bodily life after being raped. It would almost be bad form if they didn't, and might even be viewed with suspicion.
"If you were really raped, why aren't you dead?" <_<
patchesbixby - February 27, 2007 12:55 AM (GMT)
From what I have read of Tolkiens work I did see notions of bitterness on Tolkiens part towards the enemies he battled in war. I found it interesting that when the movies came out that it wasnt picked up on by my friends. I was the one that first pointed out the descriptions of the orcs and urk-hai as being war bitterness.
The universal love for the novels I believe stems from the way Tolkien left the reader to read into the story what they wanted. I write a lot and I know for myself I dont purposefully put in certain notions or write between the lines but when my boyfriend reads it he sees it and is the one to point it out to me. I dont always catch it in the reread. Perhaps Tolkien and many other writers experience the same things. Its not intentional add-ins to the under story but they come through on a subconscious level.
TheLauderdale - March 1, 2007 02:03 AM (GMT)
'Tis very true. Never underestimate the power of the subconscious.
AmourDuTigre - March 1, 2007 05:55 AM (GMT)
|QUOTE (patchesbixby @ Feb 26 2007, 06:55 PM)|
| From what I have read of Tolkiens work I did see notions of bitterness on Tolkiens part towards the enemies he battled in war. I found it interesting that when the movies came out that it wasnt picked up on by my friends. I was the one that first pointed out the descriptions of the orcs and urk-hai as being war bitterness.|
The feelings that one gets from reading Tolkien's works are different for everyone, I think. I will chime in here, but this is only my oppinion.
I don't know if bitterness is the word...maybe it is, but I felt it more as a general pathos, which is more like a quiet, mournful sadness. Bitterness is more of an anger towards that which has hurt you or those you love and care for. There very well could be a good measure of bitterness, but after years of time go by, often the anger subsides, while the loss is still there. His generation in the UK was known as the 'Lost Generation' because so damned many perrished in "the war to end all wars". Of among those that were left, there were a great many poets and fiction authors that wrote some of the most moving stories and verse since the ancient times. The fact that they wittnessed first hand one of the most awfull bloodlettings in the modern era had something to do with this, I am sure. After all, up until the trenches were dug across France, the generals fought that war using the old single shot muzzle loading musket and set peace peace strategies, only instead of muzzle loaders, they had machine guns and modern artillery and gas that killed millions with alarming efficiency.
Once someone has wittnessed something like that, they seldom are ever the same again, and often, they become rather introspective and quiet. Most of his childhood friends were killed in that war, and even though he was well liked, and had close litterary friends, (C.S. Lewis to name one) it is never quite the same as someone that you grew up with. To me, this is what comes through in his literature.
This is just my two cents worth, and I am not saying anyone is right or wrong. What one gets out of good literature is very personal, and this is why the good professor is one of my favorite authors, as he stirs very deep emotions with in me as I read his works.
All the best,
elfgirl44 - March 2, 2007 10:54 AM (GMT)
I think I agree with Tigre here, as in in the scouring of the shire Frodo is the one who isn't as angry with sharkys men as the others and stops the hobbits from hurting them. I did read a very good article on Tolkein that suggested that the reason Frodo couldn't find peace in the shire was that on returning to his own childhood home after the war he was similarily dissapointed.
patchesbixby - March 12, 2007 06:20 AM (GMT)
I dont see bitterness as always an anger thing. I mean it is but I also think it can be just a feeling you get when thinking of certain things. Sort of like not liking something. You dont hate it and you dont wish ill will but you just dont care for it...
I would think he would have some bitterness towards his enemies over the death of his friends. I know I would even though I know that war has two sides and everyone has their part. People on both sides lose those that they love but I still think you can have a certain amount of bitterness about things that you love.
Maybe bitterness isnt the right word for all this. I get what everyones saying but I think when we admire someone so much the way we all do Tolkien we forget they can be prejudice. Especially in this day and age. He came from a time when it was perfectly normal and accepted to be prejudice. It wasnt a bad thing then. To me his descriptions are a reflection of the time. If he would have wrote it in later decades who knows how it may have turned out. Maybe it would have openly gay characters...But for the times he came from the woman didnt battle and the heros were all white men. I dont like it anymore than the next person but it is the way things were.
Thankfully they are not that now.
But I also think he might not even known what he was implying. Everyone who writes has some level of subconciousness that comes into play.
I dont disagree with ADT I think he is right. Tolkien was just a man living with the after effects of a very difficult time during the worlds history and I think he handled it better than some.