The Order: 1886: Allegory and Applicability

In the foreword to a second printing of The Lord of the Rings, author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about critics who saw his work as allegorical of his experiences in the first world war and its aftermath. He dismissed these ideas, claiming they had mistaken allegory for applicability, that the former lies “in the purposed determination of the author” and the latter “in the freedom of the reader.” I sense in these definitions some acquiescence that parts of The Lord of the Rings may indeed be based on Tolkien’s life, but as he did not pursue these inspirations consciously or deliberately they are “applicable” rather than “allegorical,” and what critics of his time saw as an evocation of contemporary history was in actuality drawing from the cultural zeitgeist of that fraught era.

This all leads to an interesting circumstance when I play Ready At Dawn’s 2015 third-person cover-shooter The Order: 1886.

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