Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Armitt speaks of relationships between the tangible and the speculative. 'What is? What could be?" The relation to the real is symbolized by sea and land. The boundary between sea and land is displayed as the unreal and real. There is much juxtaposition in fantasy fiction.

Moreover, Armitt states fairy tales are similar to fantasy fiction. However, I disagree with this way of thinking. Fairy tales are simply composed, concrete, and more easily predictable than that of fantasy fiction. For example, J.R.R Tolkien developed whole creations of characterization centered around a highly developed way of life. Entire new languages were formed. Visions on authors of coherent universes occur in fantasy fiction. Characters are seemingly fragments out of dreams. Suspended beliefs of characters lie on readers. Complexity at best, is framed and threaded through words of linear progression.

Fairy tales come out of traditional forces and collective efforts. While there are still common themes in fantasy writing, for instance, the fact that main characters appear to be the hero who wins at a quest, the originality within fantasy fiction is strikingly more pronounced.

Armitt poses the question, 'is there a utopian impulse in all of fantasy?" This is one of her crowning points. However, she does not expand too much on this subject and this leaves readers without answers. Is this true, or paradoxically, does this occur in the darkest notion? There is too much abstractness in this statment. She failed to define what utopia is, as well. Is utopia a good place or no place? Readers were left to contemplate themselves. Where is Armitt's expertise on this issue?

At last, Armitt's most significantly climatic point occured when she stated that the Lord of the Rings series was not merely a traditional, christian, allegory. While this is most interesting and agreeable for myself, she spent only one paragraph developing this thought. Why so little?While she states the complex nature of the characterization, as a critic, this is not arguable. Armitt appears to be playing it safe.

Tolkien did say that he wasn't trying to write allegory, as he does not enjoy allegory. The characterization is complex and not easily mappable to christianity. There is great ambivalence of main characters. Reality is meant to be interpreted, rather than absolute. Clearly, the Lord of the Rings novels are not simplistic epics. Classic philosophical debates such as, the nature of evil, and what is happiness, through idealism, are discussed throughout Tolkien's writing. These matters are not to be taken lightly and certainly not to be simply pressed on christianity alone. Much is to be taken into account through fantasy fiction. Many issues are at hand through subjective thinking.

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