I am not deeply interested in Science Fiction, I probably just know popular movies, books. Thus this will be the only question which I will ask in this site most probably please don't misunderstand me I am really curious about this.

In the map of Middle Earth which I saw, mordor in east . And good guys are in west part of the map. And also phrases like "man-of-west" are repeated many times in the movie. In third movie I remember there were elephants and persian like man were riding them again like bad guys.

Again please don't misunderstand me I am asking this question as a guy who doesn't in any religion and I am proud of my culture but I can't count myself very very nationalist. I am part of east culture and feeling a little bad about these facts. Am I mistaken in my observations or did Tolkien really meant what I am feeling? Anyways love you guys all.

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    If I remember correctly, there's a passage where Frodo and Sam come upon a battle involving southerners and their oliphaunts, and they discuss how alike they are, how these southerners also probably have lives and loved ones they hope to return to. There's nothing implying they're inherently evil like there is with the orcs, at least not in LotR, maybe there is in other works but idk.
    – Ryan_L
    Jul 4, 2021 at 18:27
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    @Ryan_L - It's from The Two Towers, Book IV, chapter 4, "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit:" "It was Sam's first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace ..."
    – Lesser son
    May 29 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


While there's a real temptation to look at the major themes seen in LOTR (e.g. war, loss, east versus west, etc) and imagine that the book is intended to be a crude parable about the recent World Wars, Tolkien stated very clearly (in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings) that he hated the concept of allegory and that any connection between his books and real-world events was unintentional.

I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned– with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.”

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    Tolkien may have claimed that, but he used allegories a lot in his works. The industralisation of Isengard at the expense of Fangwood, for example, is an allegory for the destruction of nature for industry in his own Britain. Feb 15, 2014 at 22:28
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    @JamesSheridan - no, you're reading it as an allegory, but that doesn't make it one in the author's intention.
    – user8719
    Feb 15, 2014 at 22:46
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    I have to agree with @JamesSheridan. I suspect Tolkien wasn't entirely honest when he claimed he didn't attempt any allegories; I suspect he merely didn't want to explain them. By the way, for a human author, I think avoiding allegories is next to impossible.
    – Andres F.
    Feb 15, 2014 at 22:56
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    @AndresF. - Human history and ideas tend to be highly repetitive. You are bound to see patterns, especially in works intended to be epic mythos. Claiming that something fits a pattern due to intentional allegory is beyond ridiculous unless you have at least some proof of intent OTHER than the pattern. Feb 15, 2014 at 23:10
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    Andres F. is right; it is impossible for a human author to avoid allegories. One may be able to avoid intentional allegories, but even that is doubtful. And while Tolkien was a heck of a linguist and very good at syncretising multiple mythologies into his universe, he was by no means an innovator, which one would have to be to avoid allegories in a work the sheer size of The Lord of the Rings. Feb 16, 2014 at 1:53

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