Writing

Writing Style of J R R Tolkien

This paper will weigh what had been said of Tolkien’s style, and how it changed the perception of readers and colleagues as well.
Judith Johnson talks about decades of criticisms for the works of Tolkien. "Tolkien criticism spans more than six decades. Several commentators divide it into chronological categories. Bruce Beatie (B533) saw three stages between 1954 and 1968: the first, between 1954 and 1956, consisting of reviews and questions of genre. the second, from 1957 to 1964, containing mostly reactions from scholars. and the third, from 1965 to 1968, consisting primarily of general reader and cult reaction." (xi) Meanwhile, according to George Clark and Daniel Timmons, "Commentators have taken strong positions for and against these books," as they compiled a long list of reviews about Tolkien. "C.S. Lewis hailed The Fellowship of the Ring (FR) as a work of genius (1082). in the 1960s, Marion Zimmer Bradley noted that love was ‘the dominant emotion’ in LR, not only love of honor and country, but ‘Gandalf’s paternal and Goldberry and Galadriel’s maternal love’ (109). in the 1970s, W. R. Irwin called LR ‘the most impressive’ work of its kind of the twentieth century (161). in the 1980s, Ursula K. Le Guin stated that Tolkien’s style was ‘outstanding’ (79)" (Clark and Timmons 218). Lastly, "in the late 1990s, C. W. Sullivan III commended, ‘Tolkien’s eminently successful attempt to create a traditional narrative’ ( 82)" (Clark and Timmons 218). On the other hand, some negative remarks were also associated with Tolkien’s writing style that Clark and Timmons added in their list. "Catharine Stimpson thought that Tolkien displays ‘subtle contempt and hostility toward women’ and that unlike ‘many very good modern writers, he is no homosexual’ (19, 20). Michael Moorcock claimed it was like ‘Winnie-the-Pooh posing as epic’ ( 125 )" (Clark and Timmons 218). Meanwhile, in the late 1990s, "C. W. Sullivan III commended, ‘Tolkien’s eminently successful attempt to create a traditional narrative’ ( 82 ). John Goldthwaite stated: ‘Very seldom does one encounter emotion this fraudulent and writing this bad in any genre,’ after quoting a passage of a battle scene from The Return of the King (RK)" ( Clark and Timmons 218 ).
Today, the reviews on Tolkien have not shed any reluctance admiring and criticizing his contribution to literature. A research done by Stephanie Lessard-Pilon stated that, "J.R.R. Tolkien was a famous and spectacular author. He should be remembered today as the one of the best fantasy writers of all time, and one of the most advanced philologists in England." Furthermore, Lessard-Pilon had managed to give the conventional style of Tolkien, "such as description, character development, and dialogue." According to Lessard-Pilon, "He manages to use simple, understandable words to paint complex images in the reader’s mind. ‘As if through a gate they saw the sunlight before them. Coming to the open, they found that they had made their way through a cleft in a high bank, almost a cliff. At its feet was a wide space of grass and reeds, and in the distance another bank almost as steep. A golden afternoon of late sunshine lay warm and drowsy upon the hidden land between.’ (Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring, 162-63). Another example of good description … of Tolkien’s is that of Treebeard, an old Ent. ‘It belonged to a manlike, almost troll-like, figure, at least

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