Monday, July 09, 2007

Ayn Rand vs Tolkien: compare and contrast?

There is an article which does precisely this over at titled "Tales of Titans and Hobbits"; the core of the essay is this:

"Both Rand and Tolkien, then, passionately tell their tales about freedom, but they resort to completely different aesthetics, and, in consequence, paint two entirely different pictures of the world, with different heroes and different challenges. Are those differences important? How do they affect the "moral" of the respective tales? Given that it is of utmost importance just what kind of story one tells, it is perhaps worthwhile to reflect upon the different world images depicted in Atlas Shrugged and The Lord of the Rings, comparing the characters of both narratives along with the predicaments they face, and asking the fundamental question, which of the two novels constitutes a better context, a better literary frame of reference for freedom."
The essay also points out the contrasting economic world-views idealized by each of the authors. These two authors would be last to be compared in my mind, but the essay is well thought out.

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