Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
English: English Studies: M.A.
College of Liberal Arts
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Tolkien, World War, World Wars, World War Two, injuries, injury, wound, disabilities, perceptions, ability, hobbit, Frodo, Boromir, Shire, Bree, disability studies, pride, small minded, isolationism, provincialism
This thesis analyzes perceptions of abilities in J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1954 novel, The Lord of the Rings and how his novel is written to comment on cultural ideas common in mid-twentieth century England. Tolkien focuses on challenging negative attitudes towards wounded soldiers returning from war and showing that injured individuals have abilities that might not initially be seen and their injuries should not be seen as inabilities. Through The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien also comments on small-minded attitudes, such as provincialism and isolation. This thesis argues that Tolkien uses provincial characters to demonstrate the dangers of small-mindedness and serve as an example to his readers, encouraging them realize the world is larger than they might assume and to explore the world so that they can grow as individuals. By challenging these cultural norms, Tolkien comments on cultural norms and negative attitudes common in the aftermath of the World Wars.
Reigstad, Christopher D., "Finding Courage in Unlikely Places: Processing War in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings" (2015). Culminating Projects in English. 30.