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Tolkien at UVM - 2012 summer - week 2

The Shire

Jul 11 2012, 12:46am

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Tolkien at UVM - 2012 summer - week 2 Can't Post

Note (of Contrition): I had thought I was supposed to be a responder in week 1 and, consequently, didn't post questions. I'm making up for it this week, posting questions and responding to classmates' questions.

QUESTION: Frodo and his companions travel across vast stretches of unpopulated land. Between the Shire and Rivendell, there is only Bree (if we exclude some wraith-haunted ruins on Weathertop). Between Rivendell and Isengard lie the ruins of Hollin, and between those ruins and Lothlorien, the mines of Moria. (OK, Moria has a population, but its inhabitants aren't the sort of gentle folk we encounter in Hobbiton, or even Minas Tirith.) As Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli race across Rohan, hunting the orcs who have taken Merry and Pippin, they come upon no settlements and remark on how even the herdsmen are missing. Why, in your opinion, has Tolkien created a Middle-earth with so few people in it, and what effect do these unpopulated expanses have on the narrative, his characters, and our reading?

Subject User Time
Tolkien at UVM - 2012 summer - week 2 bglenney_uvm Send a private message to bglenney_uvm Jul 11 2012, 12:46am
    My Best Guess kyerandall_uvm Send a private message to kyerandall_uvm Jul 11 2012, 1:05am
        Excellent!// CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Jul 11 2012, 4:52pm
    I'd go for depopulated rather than unpopulated. Ataahua Send a private message to Ataahua Jul 11 2012, 1:30am
    Don't discount the non-human population. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 11 2012, 3:14pm
    Practicality? Mim Send a private message to Mim Jul 11 2012, 6:27pm


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