Tolkien and Trauma
Updated: Sep 30, 2020
J.R.R. Tolkien fought in the trenches of WWI and was traumatised by what he saw. It took him years to process his experiences and trauma, to do it, he turned to fiction. Tolkien wrote, "The Hobbit" & "The Lord of Rings", which are stories based on war, human nature, loss and the spirit needed to overcome odds. The creative process helped Tolkien harness and reclaim his own life.
The impact of trauma is fast becoming one of the most urgent human conditions in the world. Trauma isolates people from one another and God and creates an underlying barrier to relationships within family, society and community. A person can be traumatized individually and a whole community can also be traumatized due to war, ethnic clashes, persecution, natural disasters, epidemics and in today’s context COVID 19 and the pandemic.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is when a person goes through a shattering experience such as a death of a loved one, loss of property, rape, domestic violence, natural disaster, war and persecution, all leading to psychological and emotional stressors.
Trauma creates insecurity, helplessness and vulnerability in the face of an emotionally
distressing situation. Caregivers and therapists need to be able to respond in
restorative ways to individuals and communities.