Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of English

Advisor(s)

Mark Rankin

Dabney Bankert

Sofia Samatar

Abstract

J. R. R. Tolkien embodies the opposing ideals of Enchantment and the Machine in the Silmarils and the One Ring respectively. These created objects oppose each other just as Tolkien’s ideals of art do. Enchantment is art’s ideal, it's purpose is to glorify and enrich the beauty of reality through subcreation. The Silmarils exhibit the delight of making and perceiving beauty. Whereas the Machine is art’s shadowy reflection that utilizes apparatuses or devices rather than personal talent in order to coerce others and reality itself. Overall Tolkien's aesthetic theories reflect many fears surrounding modern attitudes toward weaponizing art. Tolkien supplies Enchantment as the solution to these problems surrounding art and creativity in an oppressively technological world.

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