Reading Hodes’ article was really surprising. I wouldn’t have thought that a story like Lord of the Rings, that had as big an impact as it did on pop culture and fantasy, to have these kinds of racist and stereotypical roots. What really upset me while reading the article was that the Mongols embraced other cultures, and shared and learned them, the Great Khan even practiced several different religions.
I suspect Mongol curiosity about foreign cultures and religions set them apart. Despite all their violent acts, they rarely stamped out local cultures, nor chewed them up and spit them out as digested versions of their own. Instead, they shared and learned.Orcs, Britons, And The Martial Race Myth, Part I: A Species Built For Racial Terror
The Mongols embraced other cultures, while England perpetuated stereotypes, and “England bureaucratized and enshrined the martial race classification to an unprecedented degree through imperialism in South Asia. The article also talks about how England purposefully kept Indians in conflict with each other rather then the actual ones who were oppressing them. These are all terrible things that Tolkien’s work was influenced by. The Lord of the Rings seems like it will be a timeless story, but, after reading about this it just doesn’t seem fair that it lives on without at least some more recognition of the racist roots in it’s story, seeing how influential it has been to other fantasy properties that have been influenced by Tolkien’s works. My question is how does this knowledge effect how you’ll view the story of The Lord of the Rings from now on, and Tolkien himself?