Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 4 weeks ago

Why do critics praise Tolkien?

His characters were one-dimensional, he relied on cheap plot devices (like the eagles or Gandalf being brought back to life), his pacing was slow and plodding, his themes muddled and inconsistent, he gave his stories cheap, unsatisfying, happy endings, and he wrote fantasy, a genre which is rightfully looked down on by respectable critics as children's fodder, not fit for real adult works. Why then, is he praised as a 'great' author? Do critics just feel obliged to praise him because it's expected of them? If so, why did it become the norm to do so? I don't think I'll ever understand to be honest. 


Already, people insult me for having an opinion. Is the expectation that people like Tolkien really so dominant?

Update 2:

You're quite free to read something to be entertained, but remember that being entertained is different from experiencing something of real quality. You can enjoy schlock movies after all, doesn't mean they're anything more than schlock, just like Tolkien's works are nothing more than fantasy stories for children.

Update 3:

It's disgraceful I'm not getting personal insults for my opinions.

Update 4:


9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    The story of the One Ring is considered great because of the length he went to. When developing a fantasy it is important to work out the characters, history and geography to insure continuity. With Tolkien being a professor of English and  literature he went to the great lengths needed to meet those needs.

    As for the happy ending, it was characteristic of his time period. The writing style (surrealism did exist but not to the extent of Kurt Vonnegut as far as acceptance). Also it fit his intended goal. Keep in mind that "The Tales of Narnia" and the story of the one ring were both the result of a discussion between the two respective authors. Both are classic's and worth reading as far as I am concerned.

    Some time read the authors forward in at least the Hobbit.

  • 4 weeks ago

    because most of tolkien's language was outright dumb, though the movies did major justice for the books

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    You're a spineless, yellow-bellied, lily-livered cur who doesn't have the stones to post using his own screen name. Nobody cares what you think. Your opinions are stupid and boring and Rand McNally couldn't follow your reasoning. Rather than continually posting your whingy nonsense, why not simply accept that people don't agree with your idiotic assertions and move on? Tolkien was a brilliant man. Do I equate him with Shakespeare or James Joyce? Not even remotely. He was a scholar who was looking to construct a vehicle for his created languages and he decided to kill two birds with one stone and provide what could be seen as a mythology for the British people. His books have been immensely popular for over eight decades. The stories are not meant to be high brow literature, but that doesn't mean that they can't be analysed and deconstructed and seen from different angles and appreciated on multiple levels. Do us all a favour and jog on with your whingy mingy buffoonery. You don't possess the level of intelligence required to form an argument worth entertaining. Well look at that. Andy reads Tolkien and just absolutely kerb stomped the pseudo intellectual gash who keeps moaning about fantasy. 

    This retard is forever going on about "quality." I'd be keen to hear what this coward would consider "quality" literature. 

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    So, you've written and sold how many best-sellers??? How about an essay? I'll bet you haven't so much as had a letter-to-the-editor published.



  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Tina
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Anon, I am a respectable critic - and writer - and I write and crit fantasy which is defiitely not for children.

    I'm sure I told you last time you put up a witless rant (this isn't a question) like this one that when you reject fantasy you reject the basis of Western literature - The Iliad, the Odyssey, Beowulf, the Volsunga Saga...

    If you don't like Tolkien you have a very simple remedy. Don't read him. Or you can read the Marxist critics who hated him for different reasons and have little hate fest all to yourself.

    But do stop making an idiot of yourself by coming here with your silly rants about fantasy.

    By the way, Gandalf doesn't 'come back to life' - being one of the Valar he can't die.

    And the arrival of the eagles is the eucatastrophe - you can look that up.

  • Some of us read books simply to be entertained and Tolkien's book do exactly that.

  • 4 weeks ago

    There's good fantasy and bad fantasy. Andre Norton is better-regarded for her Witch World (fantasy) series than for her YA or SF books. I happen to prefer her early Space Opera books, though. But then, nobody ever called me a "respectable" critic.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    You confuse your opinion with objective reality.

  • 4 weeks ago

    maybe critics don't share your worthless, amateur and uninsightful opinions

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.