Traces of `Sub-creation': Applicability of Life Experiences to J.R.R. Tolkien's Literature
Alkorta Martiartu, Jon
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Whether the English author J.R.R. Tolkien is present in his works, and if so, how, has been a very thoroughly discussed issue concerning this author and his literary work. This dissertation is an attempt to try and find examples that deal with the potential applicability of the life of the author J.R.R. Tolkien in some works of his ‘sub-created’ mythology. In order to do so, the biography of the author is going to be compared to three stories by him: The Lord of the Rings, The Children of Húrin and Of Beren and Lúthien. The main body of the essay has been divided into two sections, since each of them seems to be influenced in a different manner by the life experiences of the author. The results that have been drawn from the comparison of the texts mentioned above has suggested that, in fact, there are reasons to think there could be echoes of Tolkien’s biography in his mythology. These similarities appear to be related mainly to the portrayal of nature in The Lord of the Rings and to the shape that is given to very relevant characters in the legendarium of Tolkien like Túrin Turambar and Beren, apart from other ‘secondary’ characters. Concerning the treatment of nature, it can be seen that it is Tolkien’s beliefs and thoughts about it that are mostly portrayed in his work. As for the characters of Túrin and Beren, as well as for some others in those same stories, they seem to be an attempt on behalf of Tolkien of shaping them according to specific passages and experiences of his own life. On the light of this, it is suggested that Tolkien could have made use of what is known as ‘autofiction’ when constructing such characters. Finally, some concluding remarks have been made.