Given the lovely and disappointing (but not entirely unexpected--though it really ought to have won in Visual Effects at least, I think) lack of Oscar wins The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had this weekend, let's take this moment to return to Tolkien with a bit of pondering.
That's the thing about texts that you read fairly early on but continue to return to: you discover new things about them and wonder whether, if you were reading the text for the first time now, such "discoveries" would in fact be obvious from the start.
My latest "discovery" is a possible connection between the dwarves and nuclear warfare. Of course, I am labeling this under Tolkien's phrase of "applicability" rather than anything else. And this isn't so much a plot concern of The Hobbit specifically. What I'm thinking of is Moria, but also other stories about the dwarves that I've half forgotten.
You see, I keep an outline of themes my professor for the Lord of the Rings class a couple years ago gave us. One of the categories is about effects on Nature, where the dwarves had a corrupt influence when they dug too deep into Moria. Digging (not necessarily literal) too deep into Nature for self-centered ends and unleashing dark terrors? Nuclear warfare, anyone? Perhaps I'm also making this connection because I just read Ceremony for the second time, which is all about harmony with Nature and touches slightly on the nuclear side of things.