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Submitted by: Anonymous

The entire population of the world can be separated into two distinct categories: us, and them. Us, naturally, being the devout, intelligent, noble, loyal, etc., etc., fans of the genius of Professor Tolkien. Them, not being us, are the absurd fools who dismiss Tolkien simply because his works are Fantasy, and Fantasy is for children. Yet The Lord of the Rings, and even more The Silmarillion, contains all of the elements of an exemplary Mystery, Romance, or even Science Fiction novel. But the worst of them are those that have read Tolkien, and still do not acknowledge it as excellent literature. They merely skim through the books, not taking time to appreciate its full beauty, or to notice it's great detail, and not taking the time to read The Silmarillion, as to understand better The Lord of the Rings. I loathe these indolent orc-brains.

I believe that Tolkien has had a profound impact on my life, and that I am better for it. The Lord of the Rings teaches morals like honesty, duty, justice, and loyalty, which are so important, especially in a seventh grader such as myself. I believe that if more young people read Tolkien, we would all benefit. If all children read LOTR, we would live in a society of creative thinkers, a society of imagination, of loyalty, and of honor. Unfortunately, that will never happen.

I did not read The Lord of the Rings until the 5th grade. Before reading The Lord of the Rings, I did not really read much. Tolkien inspired me to challenge myself, and to experience the wonder of the written word. Since then, I have returned to Middle Earth four times, and have recently painfully abstained from it to read the classics. I believe that Tolkien has made me the straight A student I am now.

Now for the point. I think that many of us may be able to identify with this, or it may just be me. The soul of a true Tolkien fan, the soul of one of us, is tortured ceaselessly. I am sometimes reduced to wishing myself one of them when feeling the sting of Tolkien, the price of that I must pay for my constant retreat to Middle Earth. I constantly long to be in Middle Earth, to commit deeds of valor, to sail with Elves, to fight with Men, to mine with Dwarves, rather than to dwell in this world of stealing, cheating, lying, stealing, and other things I dare not mention (granted, those things do exist in Middle Earth, but justice is always dealt).

When I first read The Lord of the Rings, I was shocked, for I did not know that literature could be so amazing. The most painful part of being one of us is growing up. As above mentioned, I read the Lord of the Rings in fifth grade, and at that time would have voted it the best book ever written. I am still now quite obsessed with Arda, and anticipate the Movie quite anxiously, but as I mentioned before, I have paused my explorations of Middle Earth and started reading the classics. I have grown to understand The Lord of the Rings is not the best book ever written (though it may be the best movie ever made!). It is quite hard to see what used to be my favorite thing ever crushed by the magnificence of Dickens and the other great writers of that period.

I have considered this very carefully, and have concluded that I still like The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, etc., very much. And so I asked myself why, and determined that it is not Tolkien's prose, nor his great detail, for these things have been matched and superseded by other great writers. I will always enjoy Tolkien because of the world he created which has something for everyone, including me.

Notwithstanding these recent revelations, and the pain that it causes me, JRR Tolkien and his Middle Earth will forever captivate my imagination, and I will continue my expeditions into his world.