Yellow Sweater's picture
» Test book club
Ok, I have a question, and I kind of, almost don't want to know the answer. Is Tolkien racist?
10/10/2020 - 1:56pm
i don't even know. what made you think that?
10/10/2020 - 11:36pm
All the evil characters are from the south and the east, and I know he is writing in a different world, but still. He also describes the southrons (I don;t know if that is spelled right) as being black, but I don't know If that is just the abstract "black" he uses to to denote evil in the book, or if he is actually describing their skin tone. Also the orcs are described as having dark skin and all the "beautiful" creatures have fair skin. I don't know if these choices were him being intentionally racist, or if he his descriptions were just part of this binary system of light and dark he created.
10/11/2020 - 11:35am
If I was to be honest, Tolkien was raised in an environment that was very racist (“very” as in, compared to now). I don’t think he was being very intentional but, if you think about it, people always associate blackness with darkness and hatred, white with purity and light. So I think his descriptions were just to show that contrast of dark vs light. Nonetheless, I think it is racist in itself to say that blackness means bad and whiteness means good.
10/12/2020 - 10:30pm