Document Type

Unpublished Paper

Publication Date

Fall 2015


Tolkien’s writing of female and racial minority characters has been criticized as misogynistic and racist by many critics of Tolkien. However, these critics come to these conclusions due to the limited quantity of these characters overall, especially those of the female sex, and their involvement in the overall story’s plot. Tolkien uses women sparingly and because of this, each one has important characteristics and roles that they play. Therefore, if not invalidating the critics position on his supposed misogynistic views, then, at least, dissolving some of their support platforms. However, the roles that the women play are important in understanding Tolkien’s true moral and world view points. We are able to more clearly see these subtle aspects in Tolkien’s writing when we separate it from the moral overarching story of the One Ring. However, in order to do that, it helps to analyze these characters along with a mirror character that modern fantasy authors have created. Tamora Pierce is such a writer, and her characters in her first series align very succinctly with the characters in Tolkien’s series. Through a close character analysis, we are able to see that the criticisms lobbed at Tolkien for his treatment of Arwen and Éowyn are not as substantiated as some would believe.


A paper completed for English 4610.