J.R.R. Tolkein, a noted Oxford linguist, is most well known for his advanced writings in the fantasy field. Tolkein had a very interesting life: his childhood was common for someone of that era; he lived a very interesting and productive adult life. He completed great works that earn him recognition to this very day. J.R.R. Tolkein was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, now part of South Africa (Belz 27).
His parents, Mabel and Arthur Tolkein, were British and worked in a bank in South Africa. He was a sickly child. His mother decided they needed a change in climate and moved the family back to England in 1895 (Belz 27). His father stayed behind and died shortly after. The village his family settled in was the inspiration of The Shire in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. There his family was converted to Catholicism, which left a feeling of detestation with his relatives. Later, Tolkein entered Oxford University in 1911 (Belz 27). There he studied modern language and Anglo-Saxon.
Tolkien did not like the publicity that resulted from his works and commonly took to hiding to avoid the press. Tolkien’s work commonly reflects events in his life; this is shown through Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings (Sale 27). Tolkien was devastated when his mother died tragically in 1904 from diabetes. Tolkien died September 2, 1973 at the age of eighty-one (Sale 27). Tolkein’s first job came when he enlisted in the army during World War I. While enlisted, he married his childhood sweetheart. Later, Tolkien married Edith Mary Brett and fathered four children: John Francis Tolkien, Michael Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, and Priscilla Tolkien (Sale 27).
But, the war was not full of pleasurable incidents. He acquired a dreadful case of “trench fever” and was hospitalized. After the war, he moved back to Oxford and became a professor. While working at Oxford he translated works such as Beowulf. While still a student he began working on The Silmarillion, a book that he would not finish before his death. His works include: The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and The Lord of the Rings (Kurska 66). Tolkien was a very unique writer. Many well respected critics praise and have praised Tolkien’s work. One says he is “not a philosopher or a theologian but a literary artist who thinks” (Kocher 11).
J.R.R. Tolkein made a lasting impression in the literary field of fantasy genre. Tolkein will live on through his superb writings and the recent movie trilogy founded on his life’s work. “What really makes Tolkien’s province a world of it’s own is the large population of sundry creatures, for Tolkien has put the monsters and the critters at the center of his story” (Gasque 4). All of his fans seem to connect with the fantasy world put around them because it seems realistic. “As a philologist and medieval scholar, Tolkien is stepped in traditional northern mythology” (Gasque 4). “After [we] have accepted the existence not only of hobbits but even Gandalf the wizard and of Dwarfs, Tolkien drops [us] in on another tavern conversation, at The Green Dragon” (Gasque 5).
All of Tolkien’s works are filled with riddles, songs, and lays that compliment the characters and setting of Middle Earth (Sale 34). Throughout Tolkien’s career he composed three books that compliment each other well. The first, The Hobbit tells of a shy and peaceful Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who has many great adventures with dwarfs, trolls, and dragons. Later, he stumbles upon the great ring of power.
Second, The Lord of the Rings tells of the battle for Middle Earth and the struggle for the ring of power. Tolkien’s last book was The Silmarillion. He died writing this book that explains the full story of Middle Earth including what the creatures are and how they came to be. Tolkien creates his own world that the reader surrounds himself or herself in; he was truly a gifted writer in this aspect. Very few writers have the creativity to create a fantasy world and then write a 900 page novel based there. Tolkien’s first book, The Hobbit, is commonly thrown in the category of children’s fiction tales. In this book Gandalf the wizard basically drags the main character, Bilbo Baggins, through many adventures. He has many adventures that include Trolls and such. This book can also be looked at from the aspect as an introduction to The Lord of the Rings. This book prelude’s The Lord of the