The Gospel According to The Lord of the Rings: Week 36, Caring for Growing Things

Before moving on, let's sit one more week with Treebeard's assessment of Saruman: "He has a mind of metal and wheels, and he does not care for growing things."

In the story, the forces of good are those who care for growing things. The Hobbits of the Shire, Tom Bombadil, the Elves, Treebeard. The forces of darkness, by contrast, are those with minds of "metal and wheels," those who do not care for growing things.

This is not a novel observation. One of the most widely observed features of The Lord of the Rings is how it functions as a parable standing against industrialization and the destruction of nature. 

But there's a peace witness at work here as well, as it's the making of war machines that causes the most devastation in the story.

The dark shadow of World War I is very clear in The Lord of the Rings. You can see how the young Tolkien, looking out over No Man's Land, the wasteland stretching for miles and miles between enemy trenches, that place where any hint of green was a sign of divine grace, came to see that vision as the very picture of darkness, evil and hell.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply