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Thread: The power of stories

  1. Top | #11
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    And the article I posted proves Campbell wrong IMHO. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are pretty much interchangeable as far as moral teachings go. Both are stories of "the anointed one" rising, being perfect, and taking their God given heritage. Like Jesus.
    Frodo was perfect? I don't want to post any spoilers here, but, seriously?
    Yes. Morally perfect. Like Jesus "father, why have you forsaken me".

    The Jesus figure in Tolkien is Aragorn

  2. Top | #12
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    They are just stories.

    Lucas said is inspirations for Star Was was the Saturday cowboy serials he grew up with and the VN war.

    Little people battling the technical military superior Empire. SW is just a cowboy western set in the future.

    Chewbacca is the native sidekick for the cowboy. The morally grey cowboy Solo in the end chooses morality and gets the girl. Bang bang shoot em up with blasters instead of six guns. A stock formulaic plot.

    In an interview Rodenberry said ST initialy was about a red blooded male Kirk roaming the galaxy in search of a piece of ass, his words.

    The idea that there is a morality beyond simplistic good vs evil in Harry Potter or LOTR is a bit silly.

    Strider the reluctant hero who in the end does the right thing and gets the girl, wehre have we seen this before?. LOTR is simple escapist action adventure. Good guys and bad guys clearly marked.

    What I took away from Cambel was that all myths and stories are the same human themes in different cultural forms.

    Isn't there a saying that in fiction there is only 3 or 4 basic plots?

  3. Top | #13
    Veteran Member WAB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    https://www.polygon.com/lord-of-the-...t-harry-potter

    Here's a Christian minister talking about the difference between Lord of the rings and Harry Potter.

    No, I can't follow the logic either. I think it's a Christian thing.

    But it does underline the power of stories. And how we can use them to create meaning and identify friends and enemies
    Tolkien was converted to Christianity by CS Lewis...
    I believe you have that backwards. It was Tolkien who influenced Lewis's conversion.

    (Also, Star Wars wasn't set in the future, but in the distant past... (sorry for nitpicking...I know what you meant.)

    ***

    Two more things: I think Sam was the true hero of LOTR. Without Sammy, Frodo would've been toast. And note, besides Aragorn, Sam also gets the girl!

    Last: The OP gives me a chance to drop one of my favorite quotes:


    “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” - the poet Muriel Rukeyser.
    Last edited by WAB; 09-15-2021 at 03:54 AM.
    A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
    - Alexander Pope

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    And the article I posted proves Campbell wrong IMHO. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are pretty much interchangeable as far as moral teachings go. Both are stories of "the anointed one" rising, being perfect, and taking their God given heritage. Like Jesus.
    Frodo was perfect? I don't want to post any spoilers here, but, seriously?
    Yes. Morally perfect. Like Jesus "father, why have you forsaken me".

    The Jesus figure in Tolkien is Aragorn
    Have you even read the books you're talking about? How is Aragorn a dying and rising king?
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

  5. Top | #15
    Veteran Member WAB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Yes. Morally perfect. Like Jesus "father, why have you forsaken me".

    The Jesus figure in Tolkien is Aragorn
    Have you even read the books you're talking about? How is Aragorn a dying and rising king?
    Right.

    Tolkien insisted unto the end that LOTR was NOT an allegory. But naturally, people will look for parallels and connections, and of course there will be some.

    I think you summed it up best:

    Both Rowling and Tolkien wrote fairly pessimistic visions of the world, in which hope can only be found at the very fringes of a sea of darkness but must be seized on despite this to prevent everything good from being lost.
    A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
    - Alexander Pope

  6. Top | #16
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    They are just stories.

    Lucas said is inspirations for Star Was was the Saturday cowboy serials he grew up with and the VN war.

    Little people battling the technical military superior Empire. SW is just a cowboy western set in the future.

    Chewbacca is the native sidekick for the cowboy. The morally grey cowboy Solo in the end chooses morality and gets the girl. Bang bang shoot em up with blasters instead of six guns. A stock formulaic plot.

    In an interview Rodenberry said ST initialy was about a red blooded male Kirk roaming the galaxy in search of a piece of ass, his words.

    The idea that there is a morality beyond simplistic good vs evil in Harry Potter or LOTR is a bit silly.

    Strider the reluctant hero who in the end does the right thing and gets the girl, wehre have we seen this before?. LOTR is simple escapist action adventure. Good guys and bad guys clearly marked.

    What I took away from Cambel was that all myths and stories are the same human themes in different cultural forms.

    Isn't there a saying that in fiction there is only 3 or 4 basic plots?
    Are you thinking about that any story is either "A stranger comes to town" or "a heroes journey".

    So basically, every story starts with an equilibrium. Either something external comes and disturbs that peace or the protagonist leaves the peace and the story is about how the peace returns. But when it does it has changed somehow.

    Yes, human psychology is in many ways universal. But the critique against Campbell is that he overlaid explicitly Christian themes onto non-Christian stories and tried forcing them into the Christian pattern. The engine of stories are always the search of ideal states. Those ideal states, for any society, are always a bit beyond of what any normal human can achieve. They're fantasies. And as such these can vary a lot between cultures. Being able to rape and pillage your enemies was a virtue in ancient Greece and Egypt. But would horrify later Christians, and our own society. In the Illiad, the hero Odysseus tosses down Hector's infant son (Scamandrius) from a tall tower with little remorse. He does it, seemingly, just for fun or just to be an asshole. This is a man that supposedly encompasses every desirable trait a man can have. He's supposed to be the archetypical hero.

  7. Top | #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Isn't there a saying that in fiction there is only 3 or 4 basic plots?
    Heinlein said there were three plots:

    Boy meets girl.

    The brave little tailor.

    The man who learned he was wrong.

    (ETA: Luke was a brave little tailor; Han met Leia and learned he was wrong.)

  8. Top | #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    In the Illiad, the hero Odysseus tosses down Hector's infant son (Scamandrius) from a tall tower with little remorse. He does it, seemingly, just for fun or just to be an asshole. This is a man that supposedly encompasses every desirable trait a man can have. He's supposed to be the archetypical hero.
    Odysseus isn't the hero in the Iliad. Achilles is the hero.

  9. Top | #19
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Isn't there a saying that in fiction there is only 3 or 4 basic plots?
    Depending on who you ask, there's 3 to 7 basic plots. Depends on where you draw the line.

    Mrs. Burton said 'Man vs. Monster' was one and 'Man vs. Self' was another and i asked about 'Jekyll and Hyde.' Hyde is the Monster, but he's MADE of Self, so would that be both plots or an 8th plot? Which brings up the Star Trek 'evil twin Kirk' episode, where the self is the monster. In fact, half the evil twin plots out there are monster=self conflicts, aren't they? Clones and not-quite-faithful copies and personality splits and Mirror universe switches and...

    I don't recall that she ever actually answered the question. Weird.

  10. Top | #20
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    In the Illiad, the hero Odysseus tosses down Hector's infant son (Scamandrius) from a tall tower with little remorse. He does it, seemingly, just for fun or just to be an asshole. This is a man that supposedly encompasses every desirable trait a man can have. He's supposed to be the archetypical hero.
    Odysseus isn't the hero in the Iliad. Achilles is the hero.
    Yes, he is. Achilles is also a hero. The Illiad has many heroes. In the Illiad, any major character is a larger than life hero, worthy of admiration of all humans. The Illiad is partly an etiology trying to explain why Greece is so awesome. All the fighters in the Trojan war, of both sides, are the founders of, pretty much, all royal houses of Europe. Because they're so damn heroic.

    https://uh.edu/~cldue/texts/introductiontohomer.html

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