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(1971). Literature and Psychology. XX, 1970: Orc: The Id in Blake and Tolkien. Randel Helms. Pp. 31-35.. Psychoanal Q., 40:540-541.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Literature and Psychology. XX, 1970: Orc: The Id in Blake and Tolkien. Randel Helms. Pp. 31-35.

(1971). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 40:540-541

Literature and Psychology. XX, 1970: Orc: The Id in Blake and Tolkien. Randel Helms. Pp. 31-35.

Helms gives a short analysis of the use by Blake and Tolkien of a creature named Orc as a symbol of perfected humanity (Blake) and as a symbol of perverted humanity (Tolkien). Both Orcs, the author feels, are id projections in freudian terminology, with strongly sexual natures. Both are also descriptive of the established order. But here the resemblance ends. For to Blake the established order is bad, to Tolkien it is good. To Blake the established order is sexually repressive, to Tolkien this is good because sex is so relatively unimportant. To

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Blake, sexual repression leads, as it should, to political revolution. To Tolkien, political revolution must not be allowed to win. Blake, then, argues that repression of any kind is damaging to the soul; Tolkien argues that repression is necessary. The characters most admired by Tolkien (the Hobbits) are anal (and, to some extent, oral) psychologically. And this, the author concludes, is just the difference between conservatism and revolutionism in psychological terms. The conservative is concerned with order and the value of property combined with a distrust of genitality; the revolutionary accepts the therapeutic value of disorder, rejects the value of property or rules, and trusts the liberating effects of genital sexuality. This is an interesting conclusion, but probably a caricature of both types with limited reference to reality.

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Article Citation

(1971). Literature and Psychology. XX, 1970. Psychoanal. Q., 40:540-541

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