National Collegiate Honors Council


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UReCA: The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity:


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inspiring an intense fan base and Peter Jackson’s multimillion-dollar film series. However, the trilogy’s acceptance in the literary canon has been tepid at best, with critics discrediting the work for relying too heavily on elements of fantasy, while those who accept the trilogy as worthy of literary consideration are forced to confront Tolkien’s sexist views and the manifestation of these beliefs in his work. In keeping with his well-documented misogyny, it appears that Tolkien intentionally excluded women from his narrative: the Entwives are all inexplicably absent, powerful women are excluded from major scenes and events, and there are “more named horses than women” in the whole trilogy (Viars and Coker 48). Even important women such as LadyGaladriel of Lothlórien and Éowyn of Rohan appear to be idealized caricatures of stereotypically feminine elements rather than developed characters. Galadriel seems almost too delicate to existin Middle-earth, secluding herself in Lothlórien until Sauron is defeated, while Éowyn acts more like a lovesick teenager than a warrior, nearly attempting suicide after romantic rejection.However, both Galadriel and Éowyn exhibit traits contrary to their status as one-dimensional stereotypes, as they have incredible power and an affinity for darkness unexplained by Tolkien’sidealization of womanhood. Through their power and flaws, Galadriel and Éowyn embody feminist ideals, despite Tolkien’s evident sexism.