Sympathetic Background in Tolkien’s Prose

TitreSympathetic Background in Tolkien’s Prose
Type de publicationArticle de revue
AuteurBirks, Annie
Editeur scientifiqueFornet-Ponse, Thomas, Aubron-Bülles, Marcel, Eilmann, Julian, Honegger, Thomas, Nagel, Rainer, Velten, Alexandra, Weinreich, Frank
EditeurAtelier Für Textaufgaben
TypeArticle scientifique dans une revue à comité de lecture
Titre de la revueHither Shore: Nature and Landscape in Tolkien
Résumé en anglais

Considering Tolkien’s poetic sensitivity and love of nature, it is no wonder that his fiction abounds with natural images and landscape descriptions. More often than not, these references to the environment seem to be in harmony with the events or the structure of the story. In other words, Tolkien seems to resort to this old universal literary device usually referred to as “sympathetic background” whereby nature mirrors, mimics or reacts to the characters’ deeds, emotions or state of mind. As a contribution to previous and current studies on nature in Middle-earth, this paper examines Tolkien’s art in portraying nature — whether it be the immediate environment (geography, plants, animals …) , or the workings of the elements (the forces constituting the weather) — in an attempt to unveil a subtext under the prism of “sympathetic background”.


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