Tolkien Drew Parallels Between Axis Powers and Forces of Darkness in 'The Lord of the Rings'

J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' parallels the rise of totalitarian regimes before WWII, serving as a powerful allegory against oppression and for the fight for freedom.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Tolkien Drew Parallels Between Axis Powers and Forces of Darkness in 'The Lord of the Rings'

Tolkien Drew Parallels Between Axis Powers and Forces of Darkness in 'The Lord of the Rings'

J.R.R. Tolkien, the acclaimed author of the epic fantasy series 'The Lord of the Rings' and a World War I veteran, incorporated parallels between the dark forces in his fictional world and the real-world rise of totalitarian regimes in the lead-up to World War II. In his novels, Tolkien portrayed the forces of darkness uniting under the villain Sauron in the land of Mordor, mirroring the formation of the Axis powers of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and imperialist Japan in 1936-37, as well as the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939.

Tolkien's experiences serving in the British Army during World War I likely influenced his portrayal of the dark forces in his fantasy world. The horrors and devastation he witnessed on the battlefields of the Great War shaped his perspective on the nature of evil and the consequences of unchecked power. By drawing parallels between the fictional forces of darkness and the real-world rise of totalitarianism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism, Tolkien created a powerful allegory that resonated with readers in the post-World War II era.

Why this matters: Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' serves as an enduring commentary on the dangers of totalitarianism and the importance of resisting the forces of darkness. The parallels he drew between his fictional world and the real-world events leading up to World War II continue to resonate with readers today, reminding us of the importance of standing against oppression and fighting for freedom.

While Tolkien never explicitly stated that his works were direct allegories for real-world events, the similarities between the forces of darkness in 'The Lord of the Rings' and the rise of the Axis powers are striking. By creating a fictional world that mirrored the struggles and conflicts of the real world, Tolkien crafted a powerful narrative that continues to captivate and inspire readers decades after its publication.

Key Takeaways

  • Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' parallels rise of totalitarian regimes in WWII.
  • Tolkien's WWI experiences shaped his portrayal of dark forces in his fantasy.
  • 'Lord of the Rings' serves as an enduring commentary on dangers of totalitarianism.
  • Tolkien drew parallels between fictional forces of darkness and Axis powers.
  • Tolkien's work continues to captivate readers with its real-world relevance.