Tolkien Top 100 Middle Earth's Top 100
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
 

Topic: Would it have been better, to have never met the elves ?

Post Info
Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 217
Date: Aug 12, 2009
Would it have been better, to have never met the elves ?

Hi

I'm a man....not a child.

Hmmmmmm a sounds good, unless you are in the company of elves

Elves = stronger, fitter, faster, wiser, older, better looking and immortal.

Now that's quite some company to keep.

Quite god like to you or me

The point is, would it have been better to have kept lesser company ?

It would kind of annoy me...seeing my loved ones sicken and die, whist elves sang around campfires.

Al-phazron justified ?



__________________
Love Light and Peace
Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
Status: Offline
Posts: 2161
Date: Aug 12, 2009
Would it have been better for who? Think this needs to be put into context a bit!

__________________

Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 395
Date: Aug 13, 2009
You are only as good as you expect you to be. Perhaps by some stroke of luck the men in Tolkien's tales, instead of thinking of how lucky the elves were to have so much, decided to soak up as much wisdom and experience as possible while they had the chance. You can't live while coveting what someone else has. You of all people can appreciate that concept, Fili. By the strength of your back and the sweat of your brow....

__________________
The winds of heaven do not blow gentle.
Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
Status: Offline
Posts: 129
Date: Aug 13, 2009
I think he means would it be better for men if they had never met Elves.

That said, for all that Elves have, I think in a way that death is the ultimate gift of Men. I can't imagine living forever. I certainly wouldn't want to. I mean, sure, we all want a long healthy life. A few hundred years, even, if I could get it. But forever?  No way.

The only constant and uncompromising fact of life is change, and I think the overarching theme of the Elves was their grief and dissatisfaction with watching every thing and every being but themselves pass away. I feel that they paid dearly for their other gifts by being utterly unable to pass out of existence.  We don't know much about what the afterlife was like in Valinor.  Tolkien often made it sound like it was simply a continued existence, albeit a happy and peaceful one.  I suppose under perfect conditions one might want to live forever, but I find the Man/Elf dynamic to be very interesting, because each envies the other.  The grass is always greener I guess.



__________________
Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 395
Date: Aug 13, 2009
I understood his point and remember Fili sounding off about the dissention of the elves and thier plush, peacful, everlasting lives and how it was unacceptable to just be satisfied.

__________________
The winds of heaven do not blow gentle.
Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
Status: Offline
Posts: 129
Date: Aug 13, 2009
I was responding to Glorfindel, you snuck a post in while I was writing mine.

__________________
Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 265
Date: Aug 13, 2009
Even if the Elves were leaving Middle Earth, where would the Duneddain be if Elrond had not pledged to keep their last king hidden? Where would the Fellowship been if Galadriel and the Elves of Lorien had not offered them refuge and the gifts that served them so well on the Quest? How would the West have faired if Thranduil and his Wood Elves had not stopped the march of Sauron's menions at Mirkwood?

__________________
I'll not bid the stars farewell
Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 395
Date: Aug 13, 2009
Who knows? The maker, Tolkien. Fili's question is whether or not mortal would be better off if they had not encountered immortal. The answer is, of course no. The encounter only aids in advancement.

Fill, Give me those d!@#n sticks!!

__________________
The winds of heaven do not blow gentle.
Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
Status: Offline
Posts: 2161
Date: Aug 16, 2009
Impossible to predict what Arda would be like without the Elves. In fact the entire of history would be re-written if they were excluded from the Music of the Ainur.

__________________

Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 265
Date: Aug 17, 2009
Couldn't that be said for any one of the races of Arda? What if there had been no Hobbits for the One Ring to have fallen into the hands of. What if Men....or Dwarves had been excluded how different the histories might have been.

__________________
I'll not bid the stars farewell
Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
Status: Offline
Posts: 1109
Date: Aug 19, 2009
It's definitely hard to predict what would have happened, even if you were to remove something far less 'major' than a race. The 'Butterfly effect' works in Ea as well, you know.smile.gif

__________________
You want it for Yourself!
Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
Status: Offline
Posts: 562
Date: Sep 4, 2009
Picking up on what lomoduin posted, JRRT once wrote the notable statement...

 
* This is said because the invitation given to the Eldar to remove to Valinor and live unendangered by Melkor was not in fact according to the design of Eru. It arose from anxiety, and it might be said from failure in trust of Eru, from anxiety and fear of Melkor, and the decision of the Eldar to accept the invitation was due to the overwhelming effect of their contact, while stilll in their inexperienced youth, with the bliss of Aman and the beauty and majesty of the Valar. It had disastrous consequences in diminishing the Elves of Middle-earth, and so depriving Men of a large measure of the intended help and teaching of their 'elder brethren', and exposing them more dangerously to the power and deceits of Melkor. Also, since it was in fact alien to the nature of the Elves to live  under protection in Aman, and not (as was intended) in Middle-earth, one consequence was the revolt of the Noldor.

From Parma Eldalamberon 17 (part of a much larger citation).


__________________
Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 217
Date: Sep 4, 2009
Hi Galin

I also read ithin the Children of Hurin, that "perhaps men should have kept less lofty company"

Or vvords to that effect.

Mans greatest accomplishment vvas Numenor...and because of jelousy it vvas mans greatest dovvnfall



__________________
Love Light and Peace
Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 395
Date: Sep 12, 2009
Very poetic. Was it "a" man's greatest downfall, or was it a Maia's greatest accomplishment?

__________________
The winds of heaven do not blow gentle.
Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
Status: Offline
Posts: 1109
Date: Sep 13, 2009
Certainly it was cunning work on Sauron's behalf. But I would say Morgoth's work in Valinor in driving a wedge between the various Elven households and against the Valar would have been harder.

But also it was because of Morgoth that men feared death in the first place, and thus gave Sauron the means by which to accomplish the Downfall of Numenor. If Morgoth had never made men fear death, they would not have been so eager for unending life, and thus they would have continued how they were meant to be - as a pure race of Men.

__________________
You want it for Yourself!
Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
Status: Offline
Posts: 562
Date: Sep 14, 2009


'I also read (w)ithin the Children of Hurin, that "perhaps men should have kept less lofty company" Or vvords to that effect.'

Yes, Sador said: 'And yet I think sometimes that it might have been better if we had never met them, but had walked in lowlier ways (...)'

But I would point to Turin's response:

'But my father loves them,' said Turin, 'and he is not happy without them. He says that we have learned nearly all that we know from them, and have been made a nobler people;...' 


'Mans greatest accomplishment vvas Numenor...and because of jelousy it vvas mans greatest dovvnfall.'

But yet remember the Faithful -- those who remained true to the Elves, and thus to the Valar and Eru, and came back to Middle-earth.

Tolkien recognized the argument for 'lowlier ways', but the Faithful seem to be those who learn from, and love, the Eldar, and who choose to aspire to something higher even against the peril of falling to jealousy.



__________________
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Sep 14, 2009
All,
This may sound a little pontifical but I think it should still be said.

"...but the Faithful seem to be those who learn from, and love, the Eldar,
and who choose to aspire to something higher even against the peril of
falling to jealousy."
(Tolkien Forums > Man-lore> Would it have been better to have never met the elves > Galin > September 14th, 2009)
Isn't this what Tolkien is all about? A conscious desire to aspire to something higher? Even though in some cases the end result is evil (Melkor and Saruman for example) there are places in all his works where The Edain aspire to the highest ideals of the Eldar.
(Aragorn as King to win his bride Arwen, Beren and Luthien to wrest a silmaril from the iron crown of Melkor, Earendil to eternally sail the skies, even the grim Bard to slay the dragon Smaug.)
Think of the Fellowship of the Ring where, bereft of Gandalf, each member of the company is challenged by the thought of Galadriel, and offered what each secretly desires...only Aragorn (a king among men) withstands her gaze.
The Silmaril is of beauty and power...corrupting except for the power of men inspired by elves. The Ring is of power and beauty...corrupting except for the power of men inspired by elves and the elves commitment to a higher purpose. And because of that commitment the earth of men is saved from domination and corruption.(example Galadriel and the Ring offered by Frodo)

(Ok. Here comes the sermon...brace yourselves...)
Tolkien as a man of faith aspired ..."to something higher" and chose his books to portray the something higher in a fantasy form. In some cases quite unconsciously. But despite the elves being of beauty and power they are also portrayed as flawed beings, beings conquered by pride, lust, and the thirst for revenge.
Yet, when the elves are at their best it is through man.
Courage and self sacrifice, loyalty and steadfast devotion, art and music, hospitality and refuge, the acknowledgement of a higher power and the willingness to share with others, are the virtues taught to men.


"Would it have been better, to have never met the elves?"
(Tolkien Forums > Man-lore> Would it have been better to have never met the elves > Filli > August 12th, 2009)
No. For all that is good in man is reflection of the elves...in aspiration and inspiration.





-- Edited by Bear on Monday 14th of September 2009 04:10:16 PM

__________________

Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
Status: Offline
Posts: 217
Date: Sep 14, 2009
Hi

Does a vvilderbeast knovv it's a vilderbeast.

Let's face it...vvilderbeast are ugly...but they're are no mirrors in the Sarengeti plain.

So if you ask a vvilderbeast...if he is a vvilderbeast..he vvill say "No! , I'm one of them stripey things..one of them zebra"


So....hmmmmm I've no idea vvhat I'm talking about.....hmmm hey ho merry ol dol

__________________
Love Light and Peace
Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
Status: Offline
Posts: 129
Date: Sep 15, 2009

Bear wrote:

All,
This may sound a little pontifical but I think it should still be said.

"...but the Faithful seem to be those who learn from, and love, the Eldar,
and who choose to aspire to something higher even against the peril of
falling to jealousy."
(Tolkien Forums > Man-lore> Would it have been better to have never met the elves > Galin > September 14th, 2009)
Isn't this what Tolkien is all about? A conscious desire to aspire to something higher? Even though in some cases the end result is evil (Melkor and Saruman for example) there are places in all his works where The Edain aspire to the highest ideals of the Eldar.
(Aragorn as King to win his bride Arwen, Beren and Luthien to wrest a silmaril from the iron crown of Melkor, Earendil to eternally sail the skies, even the grim Bard to slay the dragon Smaug.)
Think of the Fellowship of the Ring where, bereft of Gandalf, each member of the company is challenged by the thought of Galadriel, and offered what each secretly desires...only Aragorn (a king among men) withstands her gaze.
The Silmaril is of beauty and power...corrupting except for the power of men inspired by elves. The Ring is of power and beauty...corrupting except for the power of men inspired by elves and the elves commitment to a higher purpose. And because of that commitment the earth of men is saved from domination and corruption.(example Galadriel and the Ring offered by Frodo)

(Ok. Here comes the sermon...brace yourselves...)
Tolkien as a man of faith aspired ..."to something higher" and chose his books to portray the something higher in a fantasy form. In some cases quite unconsciously. But despite the elves being of beauty and power they are also portrayed as flawed beings, beings conquered by pride, lust, and the thirst for revenge.
Yet, when the elves are at their best it is through man.
Courage and self sacrifice, loyalty and steadfast devotion, art and music, hospitality and refuge, the acknowledgement of a higher power and the willingness to share with others, are the virtues taught to men.


"Would it have been better, to have never met the elves?"
(Tolkien Forums > Man-lore> Would it have been better to have never met the elves > Filli > August 12th, 2009)
No. For all that is good in man is reflection of the elves...in aspiration and inspiration.



I enjoyed your post - it was very insightful and expressed something deeper about Tolkien's writings that I have always known innately, but had a difficult time articulating.  You are right that all of Tolkien's work champions higher virtues -  higher powers, values, morals, actions, personal characteristics. 

I'm not sure what you mean by psyche and soul.  That is defined differently by everyone.  The closest person I can think of who seemed to parallel Tolkien's take on "psyche" and "soul" was Carl Jung.  Jung thought the psyche could be explored through mythology, religion, symbols, dreams, philosophy, and art.  I feel that Tolkien, while he had a much different background, felt the same.  But what is a soul?  How do you define it?  I define it as what a person "truly is" when you take away the strains and hardships of life that so often lead us astray and muddle our ability to be the person we truly want to be.  I believe a person's soul is comprised of all the "higher" morals that we admire but so rarely see in their purest form here on earth - kindness, courage, honesty, pity, compassion, etc.

I think that to Tolkien, Elves embodied the experience of life in the purest and most concentrated way, a way that cannot be experienced by Men because of their mortality, their short time on earth to learn and grow, and the hardships that they have to endure.  Elves are the bravest, wisest, most intelligent, most sensitive, most reasonable beings that exist on Middle Earth (with the exception of the Ainur, who are more infrequent visitors than residents). They aren't perfect, but they aren't intended to be gods.  I believe Tolkien wanted Elves to represent Men as they could be, if they were unfettered by the limitations of mortality.

 



__________________
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Sep 15, 2009
Filli and The Secret Fire,
I think there is an open door where Tolkien's work can carry a stronger message about the "soul" and "psyche."

"I'm not sure what you mean by psyche and soul.  That is defined differently by everyone.  The closest person I can think of who seemed to parallel Tolkien's take on "psyche" and "soul" was Carl Jung.  Jung thought the psyche could be explored through mythology, religion, symbols, dreams, philosophy, and art.  I feel that Tolkien, while he had a much different background, felt the same.  But what is a soul?  How do you define it?  I define it as what a person "truly is" when you take away the strains and hardships of life that so often lead us astray and muddle our ability to be the person we truly want to be.  I believe a person's soul is comprised of all the "higher" morals that we admire but so rarely see in their purest form here on earth - kindness, courage, honesty, pity, compassion, etc." (Tolkien Forums > Man-lore > Would it have been better, to have never met the elves? > The Secret Fire > September 14th, 2009)
Part of what I mean is that "psyche" or "soul" are not just what is best and brightest but rather what is darkest and most evil too.  Breaking it down in Jungian terms it is what is projected, the persona , built from components (anima, animus, super-ego, shadow, etc.) that interact with the individual as well as the collective psyche.
Tolkien portrays it perfectly when Frodo offers the Ring to Galadriel.  She goes into her speech about a dark queen;
"...'In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen.  And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night!  Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain!  Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning!  Stronger than the foundations of the earth.  All shall love me and despair!'
She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark.  She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful..."
(The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter VII - "The Mirror of Galadriel", pgs.365-366)
And then the illusion passes and she is seen "...as a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.  'I pass the test,' she said. 'I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.' " (ibid)
In the film "The Fellowship of the Ring" the director, Peter Jackson, uses a reverse negative shot that illustrates in graphic form this "projected shadow."
The shadow can be seen without being made manifest as in the example above or in another wonderful example of the opposite where it is manifest in the murder and transformation of Saruman to spirit (visible incarnation of psyche or soul) and a projected "shadow of the psyche" with its ultimate rejection by the West; "To the dismay of those that stood by, about the body of Saruman a grey mist gathered, and rising slowly to a great height like smoke from a fire, as a pale shrouded figure it loomed over the Hill.  For a moment it wavered, looking to the West. But out of the West came a cold wind, and it bent away, and with a sigh dissolved into nothing." (The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King,  Book Six, Chapter VIII - "The Scouring of the Shire", pg.1020)
Again it is the Elf, not the Maiar, which Tolkien chooses as good...humility rather than pomposity.
While Frodo and Sam are the only two to witness both of the examples above, it is we humans reading the book who the message was meant for.

I am fortunate that I live in a world that has many manifestations of the Shadow and  Super-Ego.
"Kindness, courage, honesty, pity, compassion,...are more commonly visible than in most places I guess.
My "wildebeest" has many mirrors.  So do the "wildebeest" on the Serengeti. 
How?
We have each other and our children.
Can't think of a better mirror for a human who wants to emulate the elves.



__________________

Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
Status: Offline
Posts: 129
Date: Sep 15, 2009
Bear wrote:

Filli and The Secret Fire,
I think there is an open door where Tolkien's work can carry a stronger message about the "soul" and "psyche."

"I'm not sure what you mean by psyche and soul.  That is defined differently by everyone.  The closest person I can think of who seemed to parallel Tolkien's take on "psyche" and "soul" was Carl Jung.  Jung thought the psyche could be explored through mythology, religion, symbols, dreams, philosophy, and art.  I feel that Tolkien, while he had a much different background, felt the same.  But what is a soul?  How do you define it?  I define it as what a person "truly is" when you take away the strains and hardships of life that so often lead us astray and muddle our ability to be the person we truly want to be.  I believe a person's soul is comprised of all the "higher" morals that we admire but so rarely see in their purest form here on earth - kindness, courage, honesty, pity, compassion, etc." (Tolkien Forums > Man-lore > Would it have been better, to have never met the elves? > The Secret Fire > September 14th, 2009)
Part of what I mean is that "psyche" or "soul" are not just what is best and brightest but rather what is darkest and most evil too.  Breaking it down in Jungian terms it is what is projected, the persona , built from components (anima, animus, super-ego, shadow, etc.) that interact with the individual as well as the collective psyche.
Tolkien portrays it perfectly when Frodo offers the Ring to Galadriel.  She goes into her speech about a dark queen;
"...'In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen.  And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night!  Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain!  Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning!  Stronger than the foundations of the earth.  All shall love me and despair!'
She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark.  She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful..."
(The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter VII - "The Mirror of Galadriel", pgs.365-366)
And then the illusion passes and she is seen "...as a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.  'I pass the test,' she said. 'I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.' " (ibid)
In the film "The Fellowship of the Ring" the director, Peter Jackson, uses a reverse negative shot that illustrates in graphic form this "projected shadow."
The shadow can be seen without being made manifest as in the example above or in another wonderful example of the opposite where it is manifest in the murder and transformation of Saruman to spirit (visible incarnation of psyche or soul) and a projected "shadow of the psyche" with its ultimate rejection by the West; "To the dismay of those that stood by, about the body of Saruman a grey mist gathered, and rising slowly to a great height like smoke from a fire, as a pale shrouded figure it loomed over the Hill.  For a moment it wavered, looking to the West. But out of the West came a cold wind, and it bent away, and with a sigh dissolved into nothing." (The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King,  Book Six, Chapter VIII - "The Scouring of the Shire", pg.1020)
Again it is the Elf, not the Maiar, which Tolkien chooses as good...humility rather than pomposity.
While Frodo and Sam are the only two to witness both of the examples above, it is we humans reading the book who the message was meant for.

I am fortunate that I live in a world that has many manifestations of the Shadow and  Super-Ego.
"Kindness, courage, honesty, pity, compassion,...are more commonly visible than in most places I guess.
My "wildebeest" has many mirrors.  So do the "wildebeest" on the Serengeti. 
How?
We have each other and our children.
Can't think of a better mirror for a human who wants to emulate the elves.




Yeah, I absolutely agree with this.  While Tolkien has created characters that are immortal and supposedly have a much higher "capacity" for the positive aspects of psyche and soul, his stories are really for and about us mortals who can exist anywhere along that spectrum - from the highest pinnacle to the basest horrors of the human psyche.  He might hold up the Ainur and the Elves as an example of what his mortal characters should aspire to be, but he also thrives on and enjoys helping his mortal characters achieve that higher ideal.

I read an excellent piece once on Tolkien's thoughts about heroes and his desires for them that he manifested when he wrote LOTR.  I googled but could not find it again - I apologize.  Somewhere, in some interview, letter, or conversation, Tolkien said that he felt that he kept transferring the role of the hero from person to person throughout LOTR as each character grew and achieved what was necessary for them to become a hero.  I believe this is true.  We see most of the characters in LOTR achieve a great moment of glory in which they show bravery, strength, kindness, pity, or some other heroic trait. 

Examples that I can think of:

  1. The wise, thoughtful, yet somewhat ineffectual leadership of Gandalf, culminated in his battle with the Balrog, his death, and subsequent resurrection as Gandalf the White - his "perfected" and nearly omniscient heroic form.
  2. Boromir's moment of moral failure, and his immediate redemption of that act by defending the Hobbits.
  3. The increasing role of Sam as the pillar of strength that keeps himself and Frodo going.  Soon after Frodo and Sam break apart from the Fellowship, Frodo is no longer capable of heroic deeds.  He needs Sam every step of the way.  And so, Sam eventually becomes the hero, saving Frodo from certain death and failure in his quest.
  4. Eowyn, Pippin, and Merry all perform a litany of heroic deeds which they had never believed they were capable of and become stronger, more confident people (and go on to be quite important people in the later lives).
  5. Aragorn's trial in progressing from a "Ranger" to King Elessar.
  6. The uprising of the Hobbit people in response to occupation by Sharkey and his men.
These are all clear cut examples of Tolkien's effort to elevate characters to a higher level of being in terms of psyche, soul, and the moral values championed in human society.

__________________
Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 23
Date: Jan 28, 2011
This is an interesting question!

I'd say in terms of comparisons of prowess and the like - the notion that there exist those who are better than myself does seem pretty irremovable - elves or no elves - haha!

In another sense - strictly strictly speaking - in the utmost of idealism - all the elves would have been safe and sound and happy in the blessed realm undisturbed and - well - really - there would be no difference between the blessed realm and the world we live in now after all, would there?

Once things went wrong the wrongness kind of spread like an infection.  It seems to me that by some miracle good was brought out of circumstances in spite of this.  Once the whole curse got started and things were rolling, it seems that the good relationships formed between elves and men would be hard to construe as anything but helpful.

While there is no obvious record that I recall of people who tried to keep themselves "out of" the hoo-ha that was going on around regarding the elves as wars apparently had a habit of spreading everywhere (of course it's likely that any people who would have tried such an experiment wouldn't have made it into the histories and poems all together anyway), it seems to me that such an experiment would have been likely to be a bit naive and would not have come to a great ending.  I remember strong themes throughtout about the value of fellowship and working together.

Perhaps more of communication and friendly meetings would have been even more helpful - at least given the facts as they were at the time.

-- Edited by Meimei on Friday 28th of January 2011 04:54:51 AM

__________________
RevisionIcon.gifeCardIcon.gifPrintIcon.gifBookmarkIcon.gifdiscuss.gifSourceIcon.gif
4star.gifI Like this quoteI dislike this quoteThere is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.
-J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
Status: Offline
Posts: 2960
Date: Jan 28, 2011
Meimei,
I think you raise an interesting point.
Idealism does face the destructive force of corruption.
And that corruption can be motivated by greed, lust, or fear.
I think it is most damaging when the idealism doesn't realize it has been corrupted ... so much evil has been done by folks thinking they are doing the "right" thing.

Part of Tolkien's work leads to a discussion of good vs evil, right vs wrong, black vs white, through his interdiction of "human" and "elvish" nature.
So much sadness comes from "human" nature.  Indeed so much that we lose the idea that our mortality is a gift.  "Elvish" immortality becomes a curse and "Elvish" moral rectitude becomes pious arrogance leading to numerous downfalls both of individuals and nations.


I have a minor disagreement with your opinion; "While there is no obvious record that I recall of people who tried to keep themselves "out of" the hoo-ha that was going on around regarding the elves as wars apparently had a habit of spreading everywhere (of course it's likely that any people who would have tried such an experiment wouldn't have made it into the histories and poems all together anyway), it seems to me that such an experiment would have been likely to be a bit naive and would not have come to a great ending."
In the Silmarillion there are several stories and characters who try to keep themselves "out of the hoo-ha"; Thingol and Melian in Doriath, Gondolin, Turgon, and the Teleri.  I think that the folks around the forum's could give you others examples.
Still your observation and suggestion really do raise the question to a "higher" plain.
"
I remember strong themes throughtout about the value of fellowship and working together.
Perhaps more of communication and friendly meetings would have been even more helpful - at least given the facts as they were at the time.

I think it would be a very useful observation and suggestion for today, in fact especially for today.
How would the world be today if we could find our better "elvish nature" rather than rely on our corrupt "human nature"?

A very good first post Meimei!
I look forward to your next!
Bear


__________________

Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit
Called or uncalled, God is present

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
Status: Offline
Posts: 23
Date: Jan 28, 2011
I never quite thought about in those terms Bear - "idealism facing corruption".
Hmmmmm ...... ( <----- guilty)

I suppose in a way an isolationist-style "staying out of the hoo-ha" would smack of a corrupted idealism whether by fear (a likely suspect) or by some other force that may corrupt the natural tendency to reach out to others and make friends.

I would agree that many did "try to stay out of the hoo-ha" to a point.  But when I mentioned that comment I think maybe I wasn't really clear.  I was really thinking more along the ideas of "idealism-based isolationism" rather than "trying to stay above the effects of strife" to a degree.

In particular, any attempt to interract with (let alone POSESS - or to even suggest possessing) a silmaril - would not really represent the type of isolationist anti-hoo-ha-ism that I had in mind hehe.

Although - it very well may be the case that I have missed something.  It is possible that there was a mention of such an isolationist people that I missed.  Certainly, I wouldn't expect that kind of thing to be worthy of a mention over the spans of years and miles but there may have been a short note somewhere about it that I could have missed.

__________________
RevisionIcon.gifeCardIcon.gifPrintIcon.gifBookmarkIcon.gifdiscuss.gifSourceIcon.gif
4star.gifI Like this quoteI dislike this quoteThere is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.
-J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
 
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Chatbox

Please log in to join the chat!

Previous poll results (What is the 'Mightiest' weapon in Tolkiens myth?): Gurthang, blade of Turin - 28%, Narsil, sword of Elendil - 12%, Anduril, Sword of King Ellesar Aragorn - 23%, The Mace of the Witch King - 5%, Grond the dread hammer/hammer of the underworld -19%, Black axe of Gothmog - 4, Glamdring of Gandalf - 7%, Orcrist of Thorin - 1% A NEW POLL HAS BEEN ADDED TO TOLKIEN FORUMS Tolkien Forums - The Mythical world of J.R.R Tolkien