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The Image of the Enemy - An Issue of Race and Class in the Works of J. R. R. Tolkien.


  • Ainur Elmgren

Summary, in English

The Lord of the Rings has been denounced as carrying a black-and-white fairytale moral, with forces
of Good (light, freedom, beauty) fighting Forces of Evil (darkness, tyranny, ugliness) Many writers
argue that the battle between the forces of Good and Evil is a reflection of Tolkien's strong Christian
beliefs. Others see in the battle between Light and Darkness a reflection of the never-ending struggle
between order and chaos in old Norse mythology. The problem of the seeming dualistic struggle in
Tolkien's works has been studied to a great extent. My intention in this study is to show the origins
and purpose of the "other" races, primarily the incurably evil Orcs, in Tolkien's mythology, both
within a hermeneutic study of his texts, and within a wider scope including previous mythological
and literary references and sources of inspiration.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (one year)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Othering
  • the Other
  • enemy images
  • fantasy
  • fantastic literature
  • race
  • mythology
  • Anglo-Saxonism
  • intellectuals


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)