When Peter Jackson sought to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to film, many fans worried about the changes that could be made to such a beloved story. Though the response to the films was generally positive, all three movies did have their detractors. Many of the complaints centered on his badly adapting the source material, specifically the characters. When Jackson released The Two Towers, fans were outraged further by how Jackson had handled Faramir. However, these interpretations of The Lord of the Rings and Faramir are a narrow evaluation of the larger problem facing fan and scholarly communities, that being, the devaluation of Escapism and what Tolkien calls, “escapist texts,” in today’s society. Tolkien claims that the main purpose of escapist texts is that they allow audiences to recover previous experiences that gave them feelings of happiness or joy. Despite criticism of Escapism, escapists texts don’t urge people to abandon their lives and seek something else. Rather, escapist texts encourage audiences to identify with and empathize with the characters represented in these texts, in order to return to their lives and accept responsibility for and connection with other people. When audiences see The Lord of the Rings and Faramir (whether in book form or in film form), they identify and connect with these stories and characters and seek responsibility in their own lives, which brings them, and those around them, hope.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Myers, Megan Kathryn, "Becoming Faramir: Escapism as Responsibility and Hope through Adaptation and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8492.
Escapism, responsibility, hope, The Lord of the Rings, adaptation, identification, empathy, Faramir, J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, fairy-tale