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I would say that the primary manner in which fiction and, in particular, science fiction can be seen in both narratives is the creation of an alternate setting that parallels our own. In both films, the creation of another world helps to bring out specific behaviors and tendencies in our own. Cameron's narrative brings out the notion of interaction with another culture, and within it is a strong statement about the relationship between indigenous and external cultural settings. Tolkien's work explores the nature of evil and human nature set against the backdrop of power and the acquisition of it. Both are set in "other worldly" domains, but they help to bring to light our own modern predicament. This is what Science Fiction and Fantasy works tend to do in that they highlight elsewhere behaviors and patterns of recognition that can and do happen here.
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