Exploiting Unhappy Orcs & Gullible Hobbits: Colonialism and Oppression in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
AuthorStrømsnes, Silje Nilsen
This master’s thesis investigates J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and specifically its three volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, from a post-colonial literary perspective. By examining these books based on Edward Said’s theory of Orientalism and Frantz Fanon’s ideas on national culture, reveals a new and original argument about Orcs and Hobbits which has been previously overlooked. In this thesis, I aim to argue the colonial situation of Orcs, and the oppressed situation of Hobbits. The first chapter explores the history of Orcs, from their creation, onto their portrayal in LotR and ultimately their chances of survival post-LotR. This chapter aims to explain that Orcs are deliberately portrayed as irredeemable, evil monsters and the reader is predisposed to see them objectively throughout LotR. Further, this portrayal is a result of the Orcs’ history as a colonised race, in which they have been colonised by Morgoth, set free, and recolonized by Sauron and Saruman. The second chapter will explore the Hobbits’ history as well and argue that they have been gradually oppressed by the Free Peoples to a point where they barely exist socially nor politically in Middle-earth. This oppression becomes problematic when discussing the Hobbits’ portrayal in LotR, and what it means for them to partake in the War of the Ring. In the end, this thesis will compare the histories and oppressed situations of the Orcs and Hobbits and discuss the similarities and what benefits they gain from being part of the War of the Ring.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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