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Thread: Tolkien

  1. #31
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    If he hadn't been such a notorious procrastinator, maybe. But this was a man who was unable to start or finish almost any piece of writing, major or minor, without a combination of support, encouragement and pressure from others. He frequently brought a piece of work almost to completion and left it sitting around for twenty or thirty years. I don't see a judging type there.
    I don't think he was an Ni user but I wanted to comment that I would do this. And I'm an Ni user with Te.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  2. #32
    Senior Member mlittrell's Avatar
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    ive heard he was an INFP by a psychologist i know who is good with MBTI but he could be anything
    "Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress. "

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  3. #33
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I have to disagree with most people and assert that Tolkien was an S. Partly out of gut feeling, and partly out of what I have learned about him in my Philosophy of Tolkien class. One of the teachers that contributed to the lectures (while my main teacher was having surgery) was from Wales, and his father was actually a student of both Tolkien and Lewis. He shared with us a lot of stories handed down to him from his father. The most interesting story I head was that Tolkien was a brilliant man, but a horrible lecturer (not related to him being an S). Tolkien was scribble stuff on the board and sometimes even mumble his lecture under his breath. Lewis was apparently a fantastic teacher.

    I'm going to focus on LoTR because I don't have all day to analyze his literature and he described it as his best work. I assume someone's best work is one that is most representative of them.

    Tolkien is described as "hard minded" (preferring hard facts to abstract ideas; I can search for the source if you need it), and his attention to detail can be seen in his novels. Tolkien would frequently go on nature walks with C.S. Lewis and Lewis' brother. They were often annoyed because Tolkien would stop and gaze at one specific flower or tree for several minutes while they preferred to keep walking and taking in the "big picture." His descriptions of the different forests throughout Middle-earth are very rich with sensory detail. Lothlorien, Mirkword, etc. are each distinct forests with distinct features. He even depicted specific swords with precise sensory details. Objects and places in the novel were simply distinct, yet still realistic. I can walk into a forest and be reminded of one from his novel; it's as if his novels evoke the very (Platonic) Idea of "forest."

    In the end, I believe he had a preference for Si. I am not convinced that Tolkien was a N in any way. I am also hesitant to think of him as an F. It might seem like a stereotype, but romance or emotions were never a central focus. Good versus evil was not even the central theme of LoTR. According to Tolkien himself, God was the central theme.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member Llewellyn's Avatar
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    Good analysis. So that would leave us with ISTJ?

    But would an ISTJ quickly extend on so many details? Maybe with a strong Si indeed.

  5. #35
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llewellyn View Post
    Good analysis. So that would leave us with ISTJ?

    But would an ISTJ quickly extend on so many details? Maybe with a strong Si indeed.
    Well, I think it would depend more on the person, but I don't see why an ISTJ wouldn't extend on details. His early interest in botany and language (inspired by his mother) also point my gut feeling to S.
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  6. #36
    WTF is this dude saying? A Schnitzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    They were often annoyed because Tolkien would stop and gaze at one specific flower or tree for several minutes while they preferred to keep walking and taking in the "big picture."
    I do that.

  7. #37
    Man for all seasons dynamiteninja's Avatar
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    Yeah the guy created his own elfin language and his own fantasy world. Serious S. He also studied and taught Anglo-Saxon literature.

    Maybe ISFP like J K Rowling?
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  8. #38
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    Unfortunately, I have to disagree with most people and assert that Tolkien was an S. Partly out of gut feeling, and partly out of what I have learned about him in my Philosophy of Tolkien class. One of the teachers that contributed to the lectures (while my main teacher was having surgery) was from Wales, and his father was actually a student of both Tolkien and Lewis. He shared with us a lot of stories handed down to him from his father. The most interesting story I head was that Tolkien was a brilliant man, but a horrible lecturer (not related to him being an S). Tolkien was scribble stuff on the board and sometimes even mumble his lecture under his breath. Lewis was apparently a fantastic teacher.

    I'm going to focus on LoTR because I don't have all day to analyze his literature and he described it as his best work. I assume someone's best work is one that is most representative of them.

    Tolkien is described as "hard minded" (preferring hard facts to abstract ideas; I can search for the source if you need it), and his attention to detail can be seen in his novels. Tolkien would frequently go on nature walks with C.S. Lewis and Lewis' brother. They were often annoyed because Tolkien would stop and gaze at one specific flower or tree for several minutes while they preferred to keep walking and taking in the "big picture." His descriptions of the different forests throughout Middle-earth are very rich with sensory detail. Lothlorien, Mirkword, etc. are each distinct forests with distinct features. He even depicted specific swords with precise sensory details. Objects and places in the novel were simply distinct, yet still realistic. I can walk into a forest and be reminded of one from his novel; it's as if his novels evoke the very (Platonic) Idea of "forest."

    In the end, I believe he had a preference for Si. I am not convinced that Tolkien was a N in any way. I am also hesitant to think of him as an F. It might seem like a stereotype, but romance or emotions were never a central focus. Good versus evil was not even the central theme of LoTR. According to Tolkien himself, God was the central theme.
    wtf could the metaphor have been then? thats a hell of a long way to go for a God metaphor!!! Narnia, obvious metaphor. LOTR being a God metaphor???

    unless Tolkien thinks of God as being evil??? (Sauron was originally a good deus/race ...then it all went to shit). Ive never read simirilion (spelling), but ive heard it has a pretty cool creation story...but again, not in LOTR. Where the hell is the God metaphor???

  9. #39
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    there are nuances of MBTI.

    INFJ is a dominant perceiving type, thus "J" or not, the dom is an irrational function... I can definitely see INFJ not finishing stuff if their Ni never turns off.
    Interesting idea, at any rate. How much validity it has depends on how far the reason can be established for him working (or failing to work) the way he did.

    Most evidence, however, seems to point to INFP traits here. He was an obsessive perfectionist who was never quite satisfied with what he had written no matter how many times he attempted it. He was also hypersensitive to criticism, but seemed never to change his underlying view in the slightest in response to it. Dominant Fi is profoundly affected by external criticism, but since it is based on extremely strong subjective emotion is not likely. or possibly even able, to alter its judgements to please others. What tends to happen instead is that the Dom Fi user will hope to mitigate or deflect the criticism by altering their outward behaviour, though there is a limit to how far they will go with this as Fi sets strong personal boundaries which they are not prepeared to cross. In view of this Tolkien's response to criticism is very interesting: In the words of his longterm friend and confidant C.S.Lewis (who I believe is actuallly a much better case for being an INFJ):

    “No one ever influenced Tolkien—you might as well try to influence a bandersnatch. We listened to his work, but could affect it only by encouragement. He has only two reactions to criticism; either he begins the whole work over again from the beginning or else takes no notice at all."

  10. #40
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon Candle View Post
    wtf could the metaphor have been then? thats a hell of a long way to go for a God metaphor!!! Narnia, obvious metaphor. LOTR being a God metaphor???

    unless Tolkien thinks of God as being evil??? (Sauron was originally a good deus/race ...then it all went to shit). Ive never read simirilion (spelling), but ive heard it has a pretty cool creation story...but again, not in LOTR. Where the hell is the God metaphor???
    I would have to write a paper to cover all the aspects of it, and Tolkien took it upon himself to not make his allusions to God as blatantly obvious as C.S. Lewis usually did.

    Perhaps these quotes can help you make sense of it:

    The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first but consciously in the revision. I... therefore have cut out practically all references to anything like "religion," to cults and practices in the imaginary world, for the religious elements is absorbed into the story and the symbolism (Letters, no. 156, p. 201)
    In the Lord of the Rings the conflict is not basically about "freedom," though that is naturally involved. It is about God, and His sole right to divine honour... Sauron desired to be a God-King... If he had been victorious he would have demanded divine honour from all rational creatures and absolute temporal power of over the whole world. (Letters, no. 183, pp. 243-244)
    Also, divine providence plays a role throughout the novel. A notable instance is when Gandalf tells Frodo "... behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-Maker's."

    It must be rather shocking to people who cannot admit liking anything religious but cannot help but love LoTR.
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