Follow Me, I Want to Teach You Something
Tolkien has created many guidelines that help define what a Faerie story consists of. Tolkien is so specific that you get the feeling that the only books that fit into the guidelines are his own. Of course there are thousands of books and stories that people call Fairy-Tales that don’t fit into everyone of these guidelines, but a new genre hasn’t been created. This fact leaves one wondering; do everyone one of Tolkien’s guidelines need to be achieved for a book to be called a Faerie story? The answer to me is that the situation can not be possible. Now you are left to wonder how many of the guidelines need to be achieved before being placed in the Faerie category. Also, are some of Tolkien’s guidelines more important than the others? These
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I can not and will not answer this for everyone, everyone must drawn there own conclusions. This fact, I hope is drawing you nearer to my point. Now that we are out of the smaller guidelines that Tolkien provided for us, let’s view something that is more substantial. Tolkien says that Fairy-Tales must invoke the use of your imagination, “The human mind is capable of forming mental images of things not actually present. The faculty of conceiving the images is naturally called the Imagination.” (Tolkien 66) and “An essential power of Faerie is thus the power of making immediately effective by the will the visions of ‘fantasy’.” (Tolkien 51) To make this a bit clearer, I feel that what Tolkien is trying to convey here, is that you have to be able to see in your mind what the characters are going through, sometimes you even have to see through the characters very eyes. In “The King of Elfland’s Daughter” when Alveric is on his way to Elfland he views their mountains, “The pale-blue mountains stood august in their glory, shimmering and rippling in a golden light that seemed as though it rhythmically poured from the peaks and flooded all those slopes with breezes of gold. And below them, far off as yet, he saw going up all silver into the air the spires of the palace only told of in song.” (Lord Dunsany 14) Wow! I was so taken aback while reading this that I had to stop and go over it in my mind.