How Tolkien's Life Influenced His Works

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  • Topic: J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, Sauron
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  • Published : May 12, 2013
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How Tolkien’s Life Influenced His Writings
Thesis: John Ronald Reule Tolkien’s life experiences influenced his writing, beginning as a student, then a soldier, lexigrapher, professor, and then a writer to his own children; Tolkien’s life created the place known to most as Middle-Earth. Introduction

Childhood
South Africa
Baboon Spider
Lack of Greenery only sand and rock
Early family life
Early love of language and Anglo-Saxon literature
Early adult life
Edith and Tolkien
Beren and Luthien
Father Morgan’s forbidding of courtship
Birmingham
Factories and machines
Machines and evil in Tolkien’s writings
World War One and Professional life
Finishing degree before joining the war
New English Dictionary
Lexicography
Academic Reader
Professorship at Oxford
Germanic Languages and Anglo-Saxon
Friendship with C.S. Lewis
Lewis’s influence on Tolkien
Lewis and Tolkien and how their writing is similar
Religion
Iluvater and God
Iluvater
Biblical creation vs. The Silmarillion creation
Melkor the Morgoth compared to Satan
Melkor
Corruption by sin and corrupted Valor
Roman Catholic
Foster father, Father Morgan
Mother depended on faith after loss of husband
Conclusion

How Tolkien’s Life Influenced His Writings
There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Iluvater; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were his offspring of his thought, they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he was glad. (Tolkien 15).

This was the beginning of all things in the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Raised in South Africa with his mother and his father; Tolkien lived among the sand and rocks never knowing the green grass until later in his childhood. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s life experiences influenced his writing, beginning as a student, then a soldier, lexigrapher, professor, and then a writer to his own children; Born January 3, 1892 Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State of South Africa, Tolkien’s life created the place known to most as Middle-Earth.

Tolkien’s childhood was not the usual for a child of his time; Tolkien’s father was a banker and had moved them to South Africa for economic gain. (J.R.R. Tolkien). Tolkien’s time in the barren sandy place helped to shape some of the fundamental aspects of what he made as well as the diverse wildlife such as elephants and large predatory birds. Tolkien also developed an early fascination with Anglo-Saxon literature during his childhood that continued to show through his whole life.

The land around Bloemfontein is geographically bare, dusty plains with very little green plant life to be seen. The wildlife of his childhood consisted of large spiders, prides of lions, and very many other varieties of animals which interacted directly with the people of the town. It is from these animals that it is thought that his writings have been influenced; it can be thought that Tolkien had more admiration and love for the animals he was not accustomed to such as the Eagles in The Lord of the Rings. Also in The Lord of the Rings the Mûmakil or the gigantic elephants can be connected to Tolkien’s view of such animals at a young age.

In Tolkien’s childhood there is an event which some correlated to his writings and how Tolkien associates spiders with evil and fear. When Tolkien was a child he was bitten by a large baboon spider (J.R.R. Tolkien). Baboon spiders are known to become nearly twelve inches in diameter and have fangs nearly an inch long. This can correlate with the Ungoliant from The Silmarillion, Ungoliant is translated as “the great spider, destroyer” (Tolkien 353) and is known for destroying the trees of Valinor with Melkor. In The Lord of the Rings Shelob is the last spawn of the Ungoliant and again in The Hobbit when the great spiders invaded Mirkwood; the wildlife in the dusty sandy world that lacked greenery and plant life shaped the...
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