AMAN

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AMAN

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The ties between this medieval poem and Tolkien's works are many.9 But to confine ourselves to the topic at hand, we might observe that the heedless, futile attempt of man to reach the divine lands, and the fact of its removal the moment he sets foot upon that paradisiacal place, are striking in their parallel to Numenor's attempt to assault the Undying Lands. And the layers of Pearl's depictions of the after-life, each impossibly more beautiful than the last, also relate to "Leaf by Niggle" with its Tree that seems paradisiacal but is revealed as something far less, only a remarkable stage in a long and wonderful journey.
(11) And so, too, the Undying Lands to which Frodo is taken.
Much of Mandeville's description could just as well relate to Tolkien's Undying Lands. It is the highest place on Earth, just as in the home of the Valar can be found Taniquetil, the highest mountain in the world.
In his letter of 1971 quoted earlier, Tolkien states that for mortals their time in the Undying Lands "was a 'purgatory'"--and we can note now how important are his quotations marks around the term--"but one of peace and healing and they would eventually pass away (die at their own desire and of free will) to destinations of which the Elves knew nothing" (Letters 411).
Again, the Undying Lands are only a quasi-paradise, another Eden, rather than Heaven.