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Article dans une revue

Sympathetic Background in Tolkien’s Prose

Abstract :

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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Article dans une revue
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Soumis le : dimanche 24 mai 2020 - 21:07:47
Dernière modification le : mercredi 20 octobre 2021 - 03:19:27


  • HAL Id : hal-02616636, version 1
  • OKINA : ua13522



Annie Birks, Thomas Fornet-Ponse, Marcel Aubron-Bülles, Julian Eilmann, Thomas Honegger, et al.. Sympathetic Background in Tolkien’s Prose. Hither Shore: Nature and Landscape in Tolkien, 2015, pp.52-63. ⟨hal-02616636⟩



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