|dc.contributor.author||Whyte, Alastair James Murray||-|
|dc.description.abstract||This thesis argues for a new approach to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and specifically his "legendarium" of narratives centred around "The Silmarillion" and The Lord of the Rings. It proposes that Tolkien's literary position may be understood productively by exploring distinct and enlightening intersections of his fiction with the modern tradition of utopian literature and with recent utopian theory. The thesis contends that these intersections primarily occur in three ways. The first intersection occurs as a consistent anti-utopian argument in Tolkien's narratives according to the programmatic sense of utopianism which was standard during Tolkien's lifetime. The second intersection reads positive "eutopianism" in Tolkien's fiction through the lens of recent critical work in utopian studies that interprets utopianism as a radical and ontological literary methodology. The third utopian intersection engages with common themes in Tolkien's work and those of his contemporaries and precursors writing in the utopian mode.
This approach critically analyses Tolkien in relation to leading recent utopian theorists, including Lyman Tower Sargent's definitions of the different kinds of utopianism, Ruth Levitas's work on utopian ontology and Lucy Sargisson's transgressive utopianism, which collectively offer a broader understanding of utopianism in literature. Tolkien's literary relationship with utopian writing is established through discussing his connections with one of his major influences, William Morris. Morris's authorship of distinctly utopian prose romances, including the canonical utopian text News from Nowhere, links Tolkien to other significant literary utopians from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including Edward Bellamy and H.G. Wells, as well as to his contemporaries in the mid twentieth century, such as Aldous Huxley and George Orwell.
Addressing these intersections enables a valuable means of understanding how Tolkien's narratives of a "Secondary World" reflect, interpret and represent the major themes and issues of the twentieth century. By responding to questions of modernity, industry and tyranny, Tolkien's narratives engage with ideas central to the utopian canon. Thus his works may be recognised as a related and associated form of literary discourse. By foregrounding the intersectional nature of utopianism as a means of reading literature in general, this thesis aims to produce an improved and enhanced understanding of Tolkien and his literary position.||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||University of Sydney||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||Department of English||en_AU|
|dc.rights||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.||en_AU|
|dc.title||Utopian Intersections in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien||en_AU|
|dc.type.pubtype||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.||en_AU|
|dc.description.disclaimer||Access is restricted to staff and students of the University of Sydney . UniKey credentials are required. Non university access may be obtained by visiting the University of Sydney Library.||en_AU|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|