OpenUW: A series of free courses presented by UW Educational Outreach
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 Part 1
Part One: Reading Fantasy
 Part 2
Part Two: Tolkien's Approach to Fantasy
Heroic Fantasy: Tolkien*


Heroic Fantasy: Tolkien

What You'll Learn

After completing this OpenUW course, you will be able to

  • Describe how reading for understanding calls for different techniques than reading for pleasure.
  • Identify elements of fantasy writing.
  • Give some examples of how fantasy is distinguished from realism.
  • Define Tolkien's approach to fantasy.
  • Identify some of the characteristic themes and styles employed by Tolkien.
  • Explain why Tolkien might have produced fantasy and what interests you in reading it.
  • Increase your ability to read with pleasure and insight.
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Recommended Reading

The following is recommended reading for this OpenUW course:

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Part One of this course offers advice about reading fantasy that you may find helpful as you begin to read Tolkien. However, I strongly encourage you to read The Lord of the Rings before you read Part Two. I think it is important for you to form your opinions about a work before you encounter mine. Furthermore, if you read what I have written before you read the book, you may find that I have given away its ending and deprived you of one of the pleasures of reading. One aim of this course is to make you a better reader of fantasy, and if you lean too heavily on what I have to say about the book before you have digested it, it will be harder for you to fulfill that aim. We are always the better when we begin with our own center rather than borrowing one from someone else.

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