January 21, 2003
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No Grey

Anja Rau looks at The Two Towers and finds it too black and white.

Back in the 1950's, Edmund Wilson and W. H. Auden squared off on The Lord Of The Rings. Auden thought it a vast and brilliant epic, a modern fairy tale. Wilson, in an essay titled "Ooh Those Awful Orcs!" found it simplistically black and white.

Tolkien asserts that there are not two sides to every question, that in some times and places, good and evil do exist and the question you face is not sorting out the nuance but, which side are you on. But Lord Of The Rings also asserts that such times are exceptional. It's the end of an age.