One of gentlemen who has been emailing me through Match.com asked me about watching The Battle of Five Armies. We’ve exchanged a few varied notes about the expanded Tolkien universe, but in the last one he came off like a bit of know-it-all. He started it with, “If you know Tolkien, you know the stories are all allegory for WWI and WWII England.”
NO. I do not know that. I know that some people on the internet think it is so, but it’s not true.
Tolkien was specific about LOTR not being allegory. Tolkien in general disliked allegory. He even disliked allegory written by his friend C.S Lewis. The FORWARD of LOTR has a note that said it wasn’t an allegory. I think that in this case, the ONLY opinion that matters on the subject is the writer’s. He says it’s not an allegory, so, it’s not an allegory.
I had been so excited to continue talking with this man. We’ll call him “Draco.”
I don’t expect Draco to know every quote Professor Tolkien has spoken. I certainly don’t expect someone who stated they last read the books in 1985 to get it all right. It is reasonable, though, if you’re going to pontificate about something so specific, you google to get it right. It is possible, I guess, that he did google, but did so poorly. Poor Draco, always making wrong choices.
What ended up being more of a problem is that he wrote an entire paragraph about it. As if I was gifted from God this glorious teacher, he proceeded to show off his WWI and WWII knowledge, and inform me (the Tolkien fan between the two of us), how it all impacted Tolkien. Sigh.
He then misunderstood a statement I made about “keeping my mouth shut to avoid telling everyone the dirty truth.” I meant it figuratively, as I struggle with NOT correcting those around me, once I have been properly educated fully on a subject. He took me literally and chose to write yet another paragraph as though he was my teacher, telling me things I already know about Ancient Roman sewage systems. Yes, our 3rd conversational email covers sewage.
At least in the last paragraph he gave me a break, and started talking about CROSS-FIT.
I am not as excited to continue conversing with Draco. Part of me wonders, was that first paragraph a test? Should I bother disagreeing with him? Should I save this material for playful “date-banter?” Then the other part of me gets pissed. He talked down to me. This makes me think about my behavior in general; I can’t let things go. Bottom line: I don’t have to prove him wrong in order to be right.
It’s still a quandary, and it stinks like Roman sewage.