Okay, I know that it must be quite annoying to have me bug you with topics all the time, but I’m looking for some pretty specific resources in case anybody has happened to read anything on it.
I’m doing a seminar paper in my Tolkien class on the hierarchal structure in Middle Earth (which, I believe, consists of the humble, the scholarly, and the noble). If anybody knows of any good criticism on Tolkien that has to do with power (besides Shippey, I have him), class, or anything else pertinent to my topic then send them my way. Note that I am not focusing on his non-Middle Earth works such as Farmer Giles of Ham or Leaf by Niggle (although both of those stories are quite enjoyable).
Oh: Any more things comparing LotR to WWI, WWII, or Star Wars will be promptly looked up, copied, and ripped into shreds by me. Even though they aren’t bad comparisons, it seems that everything I look up has to do with those damned things.
Buy “The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien”. He explains many of the subcurrents of the story. For instance, according to Tolkien, the Hobbit is told from teh viewpoint of a human, the Silmarillion from the view of an elf, and the Lord of the Rings a combination of the two. That’s the kind of stuff he talks about in his letters - as well as the Christian metaphors in the Lord of the Rings.
I’ve read it, but oddly enough preferred the Silimarillion. It was, well, more mysterious and mythical and magical.
You’ll want to look at the works about the Middle-Earth beyond the Lord of the Rings, like the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle Earth, and the socities that inspired Tolkien. They should bring the hierarchal structure into more detail.
I read Hobbit, but never really got into LOtR, I kept getting bored when i tried reading it. Although, That was 2-3 years ago, so maybe I’d like it better now. Once I’m done with the ten million other books I’m reading I’ll try again.