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Roll of Honor bombadil
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I've always found it interesting that Tolkien changed his writing style as the book proceeded. FOTR is dominated by dialogue and brief narrative. TTT is about the same, for the most part. Then as we progress toward the big battles and things start heating up, his writing becomes more . . . well, more biblical, for lack of a better term. Long narratives with little dialogue; lots of "thee" and "thou" talk; use of the interjection "Lo!" followed by an uncapitalized sentence; Sentences beginning with "And"; and on and on. I assume others have noticed this as well, but if not, I'll supply examples.

I mean this not as criticism; I think it works quite well. I just wonder what anyone else thinks about it. I think it fit the mood of what was happening in the text, so that's why he did it. Any other opinions?


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Roll of Honor theWhiteLady
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Yes, yes! I have also noticed that! I really start to notice it at the beginning of TT. I think it shows how the story matures from a light tale in the peaceful Shire to a much more serious, darker, deeper story.

[ 01-22-2002: Message edited by: theWhiteLady ]


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Grey Pilgrim
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I've noticed it too, but I think I read somewhere that it was because his publisher wanted him to write a follow-up to the Hobbit, and that Tolkien, as the story progressed, decided to tie it in with the existing first and second Era's, so it was sort of incidental.

(i think I'll have a long look at this post, and decide how to cut it into two or three sentences.)


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Evenspire
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If you have not read JRRT's forward at the beginning of FOTR in a long while, do so again. He answers some criticisms made after the first two dozen printings of LOTR, including the "phases" when he wrote the book.

He repeats himself insisting that WWII was not to be a comparison, but his purpose for writing the different parts changes over time. It took 13 years from start to finish...and I'm not sure if that includes the rewrites. The forward is really interesting if you know about the division of Europe immediately after WWII.


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Angathas
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Bombadil:

You're absolutely right. I always noticed what Tolkien did in ROTK, beginning a lot of his paragraphs with Then and And. This is not used, however, in the second half, after Frodo, Sam, and Gollum have dispatched the Ring into Mt. Doom; the following chapters which wind up the saga, like Many Meetings and The Scouring of the Shire, are written more like FOTR.

What do I think of it? Well, I never really liked it. That style is just too old-fashioned, even for an old Oxfordian like Tolkien. It does sound more like the Bible than Icelandic sagas, which he liked more anyway. In some ways it made the narrative more of a "tell" story than a "show" story. It did change the mood of the story.

But for the plot itself, Tolkien may have been better off with the narrative style he used in the first two books. He was already a master at that.

[ 01-22-2002: Message edited by: Angathas ]


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Airë Tári
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For my part I noticed the stylistic changes and, unlike Angathas, enjoyed them. Each to his/her own. Tolkien's pages are filled with a majesty that is rather uncommon in the fantasy genre (more's the pity) and I feel the novel's denouement was enhanced by the alteration, lending still more of a majestic voice to the piece. I am easily impressed, though, so pay little mind to my opinions.
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Snöwdog
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quote:
If you have not read JRRT's forward at the beginning of FOTR in a long while, do so again. He answers some criticisms made after the first two dozen printings of LOTR, including the "phases" when he wrote the book.
He repeats himself insisting that WWII was not to be a comparison, but his purpose for writing the different parts changes over time. It took 13 years from start to finish...and I'm not sure if that includes the rewrites. The forward is really interesting if you know about the division of Europe immediately after WWII.

I just read the forward again, and it is in itself a gem!
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
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I have noticed a distinct change in the writing style as well. Its almost as if, sometime after Rivendell, the Hobbits move into another story, Aragorn's story and the tale of Men at the time. Although the Hobbit style if you like does reappear now and again and comes back into force towards the end of the story. The Scouring of the Shire, for example, is not written in the biblical style. In fact, I think I can see the precise paragraph were the biblical style ends, save the appendixes!
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LyraLuthien Tinuviel
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Is it not possible that this, at least (the change in writing style when the hobbits return to the Shire) is deliberate?

I always thought it hinted at the part where Bilbo's hand and Frodo's writing ceased, and Sam's style took over.

This of course only applies to the end of the Red Book, somewhere around Sharkey's End or possibly Sam and Rosie's wedding.

When it comes to the writing style changing and ebbing and flowing elsewhere in the trilogy, I haven't paid as much attention. Though one could still say it's the difference between what Bilbo wrote, and what Frodo wrote! I know there's a slightly different feel to the chapters on Fangorn that are written from Pippin and Merry's point of view.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Don't say we have come now to the end; White shores are calling.
You and I will meet again.
Across the sea a pale moon rising; the ships have come to carry you home.
And all will turn to silver glass; A light on the water
Grey Ships pass into the West.

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Snöwdog
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I agree somewhat with Lycra. He did seem to adjust ever so subtly the style of narration to fit a perspective of a character. Also, as Bomber said, it was done as an adjustment in the mood of the scene.

I have read book by authors (Glen Cook comes to mind) where this character perspective is the narration, and the story is told from the eyes of a particular character. and it works if done carefully.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins

"These Lord of the Rings movies must be taken deep into Mordor and cast back into the fiery chasm from whence they came."

Middle Earth Angling Guide

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From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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