“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”
This is how The Lord of the Rings is introduced. The Lord of the Rings is a book about adventures, heroic deeds and the terrible powers
of Middle-earth, a fantasy world that has differences, as well as similarities, to our own world. The author has created the novel’s world, Middle Earth, not only by using imagination, but by also adding details from the modern world. Realistic elements in the book enable readers to relate to the setting, yet have the ability to “imagine” exciting events and organisms not found on Earth. The majority of differences between Middle Earth and today’s world are found in objects and the actions of characters that cannot be carried out or created in our world. Tolkien has the unique ability to create a fantasy world, which exists in a nearly endless supply of parallelisms to reality.
About The Characters
The characters rang in size from small hobbits to very tall wizards. Each character in Lord of the Rings holds a special role in the building of an epic adventure. Hobbits also called “Little Folk,” “Little People,” or “Half-lings.” The Hobbits range in height from two feet to four feet tall. Hobbits live to be as old as 130 years, and their average life span is 100 years. They also have pointed ears. They have large hairy feet and never wear shoes. Hobbits love to eat, drink and smoke weed. Hobbits tend to not be very adventurous or daring, which is why many were, surprised by Frodo, the bearer of the ring and probably the most important character in the story. He is the main
character in the story. He is a hobbit with responsibility for the whole world. He is very strong and wise person who is sent on a mission
to save the world. To begin with Frodo is looking forward to go on an adventure, but that changes when he goes on the adventure. He misses his home all the time.
Although the evil servants of the Dark Lord, also called the Lord of the Rings, constantly pursue him, Frodo is very brave. He resists the enemy and he always stays true to the mission. Like in Star Wars when Luke Skywalker is trying to protect the universe from the dark powers of Darth Vader. Now his Uncle Bilbo is another story all together Bilbo had possession of the ring first, the story of how all that began was told in The Hobbit, Bilbo obtained the Ring from Gollum, formally Smeagol. He kept it in his possession for a many years before passing it on to Frodo. Frodo’s most trusted and loyal companion and friend is Samwise Gamgee. He accompanies the ring bearer on his quest. Sam is the ideal of a real true friend he was there when Frodo needed him the most and stuck next to him through it all. In the beginning Sam was told to never leave Frodo’s side and that he never does and could never even think of doing.
Throughout the journey, Sam proved his loyalty several times over, and without him the quest would have surely failed. Meridoc Brandyduck, Merry, He wangle his way into the story. As well did Peregrin Took, Pippin, these two together add high spirits and laughter on their long journey with their fun-loving attitude. These two can easily be compared to C3PO and R2D2 in that they are the little tag-a-longs, but without them the story wouldn’t have been what it is. Combined all the together the four hobbits make for a very interesting side of tale that is not small by any means. Gandalf is the Obi Won of Lord of the Rings in that he was the wisdom and guide in the story. Gandalf the Grey is a great, wise and powerful wizard. He is the wisest of all of the characters. He speaks little of about what he is going to do and he is the leader of the mission. Gandalf is also a very brave person. He knows the enemy’s next step and what he thinks, so Gandalf tries to warn people of the evil but not all listen. Gandalf is very trustworthy and never reveals a secret. He knows the history and power of the one ring and plays a very crucial and important role in the struggle against the Dark Lord.
Gandalf guides Frodo in the quest to destroy the ring and restore peace to the Middle-Earth. Gandalf is the one that gives the advice and
offers the words of wisdom to make everyone see what that should do in order to make the journey succeed. Aside from aiding Frodo in his journey, Gandalf did many other chief deeds during the war of the ring.
Mortal men doomed to die. Men are subject to many things that make them the weaker race on the Middle-Earth. They fall to age, disease, greed or man’s oldest desire, and many other rough elements of Middle-earth. Men are not perceptive to the minds of others, cannot see into the future and are less skilled in lore and crafts than other races. Men are a very diverse race. Physically they come in all shapes and sizes and inhabit many different parts of Middle-earth. Hobbits call Men “Big Folk” or “Big People.” Men eventually rose to the dominant race and the fell. Aragorn or Strider represents the race of men in the fellowship; Aragorn is heir to the Kingdom of Gondor. As a Ranger, he is a warrior who is well equipped in serving and protecting his countrymen and Frodo. Or in the case of Star Wars he would be the Han, the bravest and most loyal of all in the story. He led the Fellowship after Gandalf’s fall into Moria. During his reign, he restored peace to the land, and extended its borders. Boromir is a man of noble background fighting to protect his people from the Dark Lord, Sauron.
Boromir was a proud man: proud of himself, and his city. Boromir was valiant in battle. But through all of his loyalty and honor he was
still tempted by the ring. Which is the one down fall of men, they are easily tempted by greed and power. Elves are immortal. As elves age they grow wiser and more beautiful, not weaker and less attractive. Elves have more beauty than any creatures on earth, but also possess the most extreme happiness and sorrow. Legolas’s keen senses and archery skills and physical prowess make this elf a worthy asset to the Fellowship. Arwen compared to a character in Star Wars is Leia, she is a strong and brave leader. Arwen, daughter of Elrond and granddaughter of Galadriel, the beautiful elf princess defies her family by falling in love with Aragorn, a mortal man. Now she must make a choice between remaining with her immortal family or joining Aragorn and becoming mortal. The story
between Arwen and Aragorn is one of true love and love at first sight. Their story represents the love story in the trilogy like the one in Star Wars between Han and Leia. Galadriel or the Lady of Lrien or the Golden Wood. The majestic elf queen of Lothlrien, wife of Celeborn, rules her kind with benevolence and grace. She is kind and offers the fellowship shelter, special gifts and sound counsel, products of her power and wisdom. Elrond, Father of Arwen, son-in-law to Galadriel and Celeborn, and founder and master of Rivendell, which became one of the greatest elven refuges during the time of the war of the ring. This wise elf held the greatest of the Three Elven Rings, Vilya. He aids in establishing the fellowship at the Council of Elrond, and enables the fellowship to begin their journey.
Dwarves are four to five feet tall with the male Dwarves long-bearded. Another hairy creature that can be compared to a dwarf is Chewbacca from Star Wars. Both strong and loyal side kicks to their companions. Dwarves are a stocky, strong and proud race with a resistance to fire and hardier than any other. Dwarves are great miners, craftsmen and work wonders with stone, metals, and jewels. In war, Dwarves use an axe as their weapon of choice. The Council of Elrond chooses Gimli, an energetic, axe-wielding warrior, to represent the dwarves in the Fellowship. He aided Gandalf in leading the company through Moria, which shows leadership and strong will on his part.
The horrible ringwraiths were once powerful kings and sorcerers among men until they were tempted by the power of the Ring and damned to serve Sauron. This is why men are not trusted with the ring of power and that is why Frodo was chosen to carry the ring. The nine Ringwraiths, also known as Nazgul or Black Riders, are ordered by their master, Sauron to find the ring and bring it back to him. As
with others corrupted by the ring, Ringwraiths are invisible to normal eyes and can only be seen because of their clothing. Ringwraiths have a keen sense of smell and extremely poor vision. Wraiths represent evil in the story through all that they want to accomplish is to
return the ring to Sauron.
An Orc’s only joy is the fear and pain of others and they are fierce and powerful warriors. Orcs have a hideous physical appearance.
They were once hobbits, but because of evil they turned into the terrifying creatures they are now. They are bow-legged, hunched and
their skin charred. Often their teeth are fanged. Orcs are soldiers of Sauron and when in battle fight using scimitars, poisoned daggers,
arrows, and broad-headed swords. They are evil henchmen that will kill and kill to get through anything. Orcs are similar to storm troopers.
These creatures no nothing of good and are purely based on evil. Saruman, was once a great wizard like Gandalf, but because of
Sauron’s great power was turned to the side of evil. He would do anything that he was told to do by Sauron, like create an army of men stronger and more powerful than the orcs to destroy the fellowship. Saruman is the classic example of good turned evil. Just like in Star Wars when Count Dookoo turned Anakin to the darkside.
Symbolism of Evil
The magical ring, which was a key to helping the group succeed in the book. The embodiment of evil. Tolkien was able to create
wonderful symbolism and meaning out of what would otherwise be considered nonsense. The creation of the one ring or the ring of
Sauron goes back to the years following the fall of Morgoth. At this time, Sauron established his desire to bring the Elves, and indeed all
the people of Middle-Earth, under his control. It was his opinion that Manw and the Valar had abandoned Middle-Earth after the fall of Morgoth. In order to bring the Elves under his control, Sauron persuaded them that his intentions were good, and that he wanted
Middle-Earth to return from the darkness it was in. Eventually the elves sided with Sauron, and created the Rings of Power under his guidance. Following the creation of these rings, Sauron created the One Ring in secret, so that he would be able to control the other
rings and consequently control the Elves.
The creation of the Ring, and the essence of its power were revealed in the following passage, “and their power was bound up with
it, to be subject wholly to it and to last only as long as it too should last. And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring; for the power of the Elven Rings was very great, and that which should govern them must be a thing of surpassing potency; and Sauron forged it in the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow.
And while he wore the One Ring he could perceive all the things that were done by means of the lesser rings, and he could see and govern the very thoughts of those that wore them.” (The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age) The power of the One is recognized by the Elves as soon as Sauron puts the Ring on his finger. They realize that he can control their thoughts, and they decide to remove their rings and not use them. The history of the ring, then, follows that the Elves and Sauron became bitter enemies, and the One ring remained in Sauron’s possession until it was taken by Isildur after Sauron’s defeat, and was then lost in the river for many years.
Eventually, Deagol, who was in turn murdered by his brother Smeagol, found it. Smeagol is the same person as the pitiful Gollum, who
retained the ring until Bilbo Baggins took it. From here, it logically follows that Bilbo, gave it to Frodo Baggins under the guidance of
Gandalf the Grey, and so we reach the beginning of Lord of the Rings.
The nature of the One Ring can be explained in three distinct ways. First as a personification of Sauron’s power. Second as a symbol of
evil in general. And finally, as an inanimate object with a mind of its own, with the ability to work away from its creator as well as
return to its creator of its own accord. The next section of this essay will examine these three explanations. Indeed, as the Ring’s creator and original “owner”, Sauron had placed a great amount of his own power into the ring for the purpose of controlling the other rings. Because of this, the Ring is effectively an extension of Sauron’s might. The loss of the Ring does not destroy Sauron, as would the destruction of it. Rather, his power is simply spread around, and his influence affects whomever should have possession of the Ring at any time. Should Sauron recover the ring again, however, his power will be greater than ever, as is explained in Book one of Lord of the Rings. “If he recovers it, then he will command them all again, wherever they be, even the Three, and all that has been wrought with them will be laid bare, and he will be stronger than ever.”(Lord of the Rings The Shadow of the Past) Even without the ring, then, Sauron’s power was immense. Throughout Lord of the Rings, however, there are only hints of this power. Sauron’s power lies in control and dominion, and the deprivation of free will. One example of Sauron’s power reflected in Lord of the Rings is in Gollum, whose pitiful condition is the result of Sauron’s domination over him as the bearer of the One Ring.
The Ring presented as a symbol of evil is possibly the most important idea represented in the trilogy. In Tolkien’s world, evil is the antithesis of creativity, and is dependent on destruction and ruin for its basis. Conversely, goodness is associated with the beauty of creation as well as the preservation of anything that is created. The symbolic nature of these two ideologies is represented in the Elven Rings, which symbolize goodness, and the One Ring, which is wholly evil. A main theme of Lord of the Rings, then, is the struggle between good will and evil. Another theme that is in accordance with this struggle is the theory that while goodness can create and be
beneficial, evil can only serve to pervert and destroy. Therefore, evil cannot exist unless there is something that can be perverted and destroyed. This idea is the main essence of Sauron’s evil nature, and thus the One Ring is the essence of evil as well, as it is the personification of Sauron. Tolkien said that essentially the primary symbolism of the Ring is as the will to mere power, seeking to make itself objective by physical force and mechanism, and so also inevitably by lies. This is to say that the purpose of the Ring is to destroy, through deceit and corruption, anything good in the world.
Another way to show the symbolic nature of the ring is to say that it represents the omnipresence of evil. Its very existence, because it
contains the evil will of its creator, has the power to tempt, corrupt, and in doing so destroy.
The next way in which the nature of the Ring can be examined is in the way it has seemingly animate abilities as an inanimate object,
namely the ability to work away from and return to its creator. In order to understand this, one must realize that if the Ring is evil in
itself, which has been explained earlier, and then it must also have the ability to work evil. It cannot necessarily create evil ideas on
its own, but instead it can take advantage of any opportunity, which presents itself to the Ring. Specifically, whenever Frodo is tempted
to use or actually uses the Ring, the Ring has a chance to work corruption on him, even in the absence of the creator. In this way,
the Ring is advantageous, and the stronger the presence of evil, the
easier it is for the Ring to work on the bearer. For example, on
Weathertop, the presence of the Witch-king is a tremendous evil, and
the Ring takes advantage of this, convincing Frodo to use it in order
to escape. Although Frodo is not permanently corrupted at this point,
the Ring is slowly eating away at him, and its power over him grows
each time he uses it. This leads inexorably to the final failure of
Frodo, that being at the Cracks of Doom, when he decides that the Ring
is his by right. At this point, the Ring has won, and it is only by
chance that it is successfully destroyed. It can be said that it is
either the culmination of the Ring’s corruption of Frodo that resulted
in its victory or else it is that the Ring finally had enough outward
evil presence to aid it in conquering the bearer, that presence being
Mordor itself, the heart of evil.
The idea that the Ring has a mind of its own is further
explained in the way it is never lost or forgotten for long. As
Gandalf explains in Fellowship, “A Ring of Power looks after itself,
Frodo. It may slip off treacherously, but its keeper never abandons
it.” (Lord of the Rings The Shadow of the Past) This statement shows
how the Ring will protect itself from destruction if at all possible.
The further explanation, that, “It was not Gollum…but the Ring
itself that decided things. The Ring left him.” ( Lord of the Rings
The Shadow of the Past) again shows how the Ring always strives to
return to its creator. This goes to further the notion that Sauron has
control over the Ring even when it is not in his possession. His power
is not vanquished by the absence of the Ring, simply reduced and
spread out. The Ring will always be found, and it will always return
to its creator so that its evil nature can be whole.
The temptation of Frodo throughout Lord of the Rings is another
important aspect of the power of the One Ring. Unless one first
understands what is involved in a struggle between Good and Evil, it
is incomplete to simply say that such a struggle exists. Also, in
order to examine the nature of temptation, one must also discuss the
idea of free will. If the essence of Evil is control and domination,
which has been explained earlier, and the essence of goodness is
freedom and creativity, then it seems as though temptation is based on
evil. The Ring does tempt Frodo, in an effort to subvert him and
conquer his ability to choose whether or not to wear the Ring, but it
is not the nature of goodness to prevent this from happening, because
to do so it would be to destroy Free Will in a different fashion with
the same result. From Frodo’s point of view, the entire trilogy is an
examination of choice and free will. When Frodo chooses to take the
Road to the Fire at the Council of Elrond, he is not only choosing to
take a dangerous path, but he is also choosing to continue to allow
himself to be presented with the temptations that are presented by the
Ring. There is a very important relationship that concerns both
temptation as well as the general effect of the Ring on mortals. This
is the conflict between Frodo and Boromir. Their confrontation is an
example of the choice issue, and the temptation and fall of Boromir is
the first of two critical choices that are made at this point. Boromir
is overwhelmed by the Ring’s power, and it eventually results in his
madness. The Ring preys upon Boromir’s desire for the power of
Command, and it corrupts him through this weakness. In the end,
Boromir is rescued only by his death, which, coupled with his last-
breath admission of his attempt to retrieve the Ring, give a
bittersweet sense of redemption. Aragorn’s words following Boromir’s
death, “In Minas Tirith they endure the East Wind, but they do not ask
it for tidings. But now Boromir has taken his road, and we must make
haste to choose our own.”(Lord of the Rings The Departure of Boromir)
sum up the fall of Boromir, and show what the future must hold for the
rest of them. The second choice made at this point concerns Frodo’s
choice to use the Ring in order to escape from Boromir. At this time,
the power of the Ring nearly conquers Frodo, and it is only the last-
minute intervention of Gandalf, which saves Frodo. The enhanced powers
of perception that Frodo has when he wears the Ring is the essence of
temptation put forth by the evil forces at work. Frodo is obviously
tempted to use the Ring for his own prosperity, for the power of
perception is very great with the Ring. At this time, he is unable to
see the danger of the Ring that is ever growing. This section of the
trilogy is one of the most important of all, and it is a turning point
in both the reader’s understanding of the Ring as well as Frodo’s.
There is an interesting parallel here, concerning an issue which will
be expanded on at a later point, a parallel between Frodo’s individual
struggle with temptation on the summit and Christ’s temptation on the
summit. Not necessarily to say that Frodo Baggins is a Christ-figure,
but rather to suggest that the issue of free will is an individual
matter seems relevant here.
The effect of the Ring on mortals is not limited to temptation
and corruption. In addition to these, the Ring works in different
ways, exploiting the weaknesses and fears of each individual who
encounters it in any way. Evidently, there are only three individuals
who are not tempted by the Ring. Sauron is immune to the power of it,
for it is the personification of his own evil nature, which the Ring
represents. The Ring only tempts Sam once, before the Tower of Cirith
Ungol, and he defeats the temptation. This is most likely because of
his undying loyalty to Frodo and his intentions. He would never think
to upstage Frodo by allowing the Ring to become an issue for him. The
third individual who is immune to the temptation of the Ring is Tom
Bombadil, who is possibly the strongest reference to a Christ-figure
in the trilogy. He is “the Master of Wood, water, and hill” according
to Old Man Willow and other inhabitants of nature. It is his nature
not to be influenced by the evil forces of the Ring. He knows his
bounds, and will never go beyond them. It is this, which prevents him
from becoming corrupted by the Ring. He has set bounds for himself,
and is completely content with them. This lack of ambition is
something not present in any other character in the story. Any other
character, including Gollum, Frodo, Boromir, and even Gandalf,
possesses an innate sense of ambition, which allows for the evil of
the Ring to work. The most obvious example of the Ring’s effect on a
mortal is obviously Gollum. Gollum is the result of nearly complete
corruption by the Ring, and his situation demonstrates to us the way
that the Ring’s evil works. He is evasive, cunning. He lies and
deceives everyone, including himself. He has a peculiar relationship
with the Ring, hating and loving it at the same time. In effect,
Gollum represents what Frodo could have become. Also, he represents in
an exaggerated fashion what becomes of Frodo whenever he wears the
Ring. Gollum’s mind and soul are shattered by his obsession for the
Ring, and its retrieval is his only and ultimate goal. This advanced
stage of corruption is another example of the parasitic, evil nature,
which the Ring represents.
The destruction of the Ring, including the failure of Frodo and
the irony of Gollum’s intervention. At the last moment, in the heart
of Sauron’s kingdom, Frodo wavers in his quest, and gives in to the
temptation completely. The Ring has complete control over Frodo for
only an instant before the intervention of Gollum, whose death is
redeemed only by the ultimate completion of his quest, that to
retrieve the Ring. His intervention seems to prevent an ultimate
catastrophe, but one must realize that Gollum would’ve attempted to
retrieve the Ring from Frodo whether or not Frodo had accepted it as
his own. Therefore, it is irrelevant to wonder what would have
happened if Frodo had not failed in his individual quest. At first, it
seems as though this ending to such a complicated ordeal is too
incomplete, leaving too much to chance. However, it is this ending
which further develops the concept of evil explained earlier. Evil is
a destructive force, and it carries within it the formula for its own
destruction. Therefore, because the Ring is the embodiment of Evil, it
had the potential for self-destruction. This idea, of the self-
destructive nature of Evil, is the most important issue concerning the
destruction of the Ring. There is a major flaw in the mind of Sauron,
and in turn the mind of Evil, which is that Sauron never considered
the possibility that anyone would desire to destroy the Ring.
Similarly, the Ring itself, in its desire to return to its master
Sauron, never considered the possibility that the level of corruption
that it had performed against Gollum would turn against it. Indeed,
Gollum was so obsessed with the Ring that when he finally gets it
back, he is so ecstatic that he missteps. In both cases, Evil has
deceived itself, which in turn has brought about its destruction. The
Ring, the symbol of Evil and evil power, has been defeated, not by the
will of goodness, but rather by its own doing.
In order to summarize the essence of this study on the symbolism
of the One Ring, it can be said that the Ring itself can be explained
separately from an explanation of the Evil nature of the Ring. The
Ring itself is the reality of Evil in the physical world. In every
way, it is the nature of evil which must be either accepted or
rejected outright. Its mere presence is a personification of the
opportunity for people to have and execute free will and make morally
correct or incorrect decisions. Also, the ring is a symbol of power,
evil power. It is the part of nature that continually strives to
destroy a person’s ability to exercise free will. The exercise of
Evil, and in essence the power of the Ring, is the exact opposite of
freedom. As for the nature of evil, it has been shown that no good can
possibly come from evil means, but evil results can be averted if one
can acquire the evil object while resisting the evil nature of it.
Also, the Ring is both real and symbolic. While the physical nature of
the Ring is behavioral, and can be physically observed, the essence or
power of the Ring is also a concept, a concept that opposes morality.
Because of this, the Ring may be destroyed physically, and with it the
power of its creator, but its essence, Evil, will remain present in
some form until the end of time.
There are many psychological conflicts involved that all weave
together. The one conflict I want to focus on, though, is the conflict
between the character Boromir and his inner desire to use the Ring for
the greater good of his kingdom, namely himself. At first glance, he
seems a harmless man. But as the story progresses, so does his
infatuation with the Ring. “…And Sam saw that while the others
restrained themselves and did not stare at him, the eyes of Boromir
followed Frodo intently, until he passed out of sight in the trees at
the foot of Amon Hen.” Boromir was fighting his mind, deciding right
then and there to seize the ring from Frodo. He followed Frodo and at
the top of Amon Hen began to talk to him, taking on the guise of a
friend. But suddenly he snatched for the Ring, failed in his attempt,
and ultimately died valiantly defending Merry and Pippin, two other
hobbits, from orcs. He redeemed himself at the end, but the harm was
already done. He had lost the battle with his conscious, and in doing
so made the rest of the journey so much more difficult for the rest of
Another conflict held in Lord of the Rings is the one that Bilbo
has with himself about giving the ring up. The ring held such great
power that when it came time for Bilbo to give it up he was torn on
which decision to make keep it or give it up. He knew that deep down
inside he had to give the ring away, but some strange feeling wanted
him to keep the ring. Frodo has a conflict at the Council of Elrond
when the ring is presented and everyone is trying to figure out who
will take the ring and destroy it. The elves didn’t want the dwarves to
it and the dwarves didn’t want to elves to have it, and humans didn’t
want either one to take. After listening to everyone argue Frodo came
forward and took the responsibility, when all he really wanted to do
was go home. This then throws Gandalf into a conflict because he didn’t
want that responsibility to be on Frodo and he is sadden by the
decision that Frodo has made. Another conflict is presented when the
fellowship arrives in Lothlorien and they meet with Galadriel. At this
point Frodo offers the ring to Galadriel and she goes to take it, but
declines the offer. She then says, “I passed the test. I will diminish
and go into the Wets, and remain Galadriel.”(Lord of the Rings The
Mirror of Galadriel). Here she was faced with a test of not giving into
the powers of the ring and being a stronger than humans and others that
had falling to the powers of the ring. One of the biggest conflicts in
the story is the one of Arwen and her love for Aragorn. She is torn
between living a life as an elf and not having him, or to give up a
life as an elf and become mortal so she can be with him. She chooses a
mortal life and Aragorn over an elven life. The conflict that she had
to go through to make had to hard in that she had to make one of the
hardest decisions ever, but end the end love conquers all. Gollum goes
through the more psychological conflicts than any other character in
the story. His major conflict is the ring. He wants the ring because he
thinks he needs the ring, but knows it needs to be destroyed to destroy
the evil. In the end Gollum does the right thing in destroying that
ring, because he saw what the ring to Frodo. He knew that the ring had
done the same to him and he didn’t like what he saw in Frodo and bit
off Frodo’s finger and fell into the fiery pits of Mount Doom.
Psychological conflicts seem to be the worst kind. For, unlike
the others, the actions a person does based on the conflict within
shows what kind of person he or she is. Sometimes, this type of
conflict can be very helpful. It can defeat the evilness of pride,
turn a person around and show him the truth. But it can also be
sinister. Fighting yourself is always hard, and you don’t always win.
People like to think they can master their own mind, but in reality,
they can’t. Tampering with the mind is a most delicate procedure, and
is something that should be done in moderation if one tries.
Christianity and Heroism
Even though Tolkien claims that The Hobbit and The Lord of the
Rings were not written in the light of Christianity or as an allegory,
there is a great presence of religious symbolism throughout his epic.
Urang agrees in his statement, The Lord of the Rings, although it
contains no ‘God’, no ‘Christ’, and no ‘Christians’, embodies much of
Tolkien’s ‘real religion’ and is a profoundly a Christian work.”
Tolkien, whether by mistake or purposely, seems to relate the
adventures and acts of his characters Bilbo and Gandalf closely to the
acts of Christ in the Bible. In The Hobbit, Bilbo often acted as Jesus
would in the Bible. Confronted with the possession of the evil Ring of
power, Bilbo was often tempted to use the Ring in excess and for wrong
reasons. However the strong willed hobbit never succumbed to that evil
power, much like when Jesus resists the temptation of Satan in the
desert in Matthew 3:16. In short, the passage explains how the Lord,
after fasting for forty days and forty nights, resists the temptation
to create food and feast.
He then is tested by Satan to call upon his angels to save him
from deadly leap off of the highest point of a high precipice. Jesus
simply turns Satan away again. Also, one of Bilbo’s descendants, Frodo,
was burdened with the temptation of the Ring. Frodo knew of the power
that the Ring held and knew that he could either be a great evil power
himself, or that this great evil thing must be destroyed. The end of
The Lord of the Rings results in the destruction of the Ring and, along
with it, the death of Frodo. Frodo learns and thus teaches what for
Tolkien is the deepest of all Christian truths: how to surrender one’s
life, how to lose one’s treasure, how to die, and thus how truly to
Another Christian-like manifestation of Tolkien’s creative
imagination is the character of Gandalf, the good wizard. Gandalf, the
Christ-like wizard who lays down his life for his friends, knows that
he is an unworthy bearer of the Ring – not because he has evil designs
that he wants secretly to accomplish, but rather because his desire to
do good is so great. Gandalf is an important pawn and advantage to the
hobbit and dwarves in their adventure. He often guides, gives advice,
and overall helps the adventurers along in their great journey.
Believers of Christianity also believe that Christ is with them,
guiding and showing the way to salvation, throughout their day.
Although Gandalf, in Tolkien’s novels, never cured a blind man or leper
with a touch of his hand, he compares to Jesus in the miracles of his
magic and spell casting.
Not all the characters that Tolkien depicts in his novels are
Christ-like or overall good-natured characters. There are plenty, if
not as many, evil doing entities. Saruman is a wizard much like
Gandalf. However, they contrast in the respect that Saruman uses his
miracles and spell casting powers to do works of evil rather than good.
He is utterly undone by the lure of total power. In the New Testament,
Judas, believing Jesus to be the long awaited and prophesized king of
the Jews, wanted to speed the earthly rule of Jesus. He delivered him
to the Romans in thoughts that he would perform his miracles and prove
that he is, in fact, the king of the Jews. Like Judas, Saruman is
impatient with the slow way that goodness works. He cannot abide the
torturous path up Mount Doom; he wants rapid results. Tolkien’s
message he wanted to get across is every has the responsibility to do
God’s work, and if you use evil to this done there will be
Tolkien’s use of heroism opens us up to whole new worlds of
something that is totally left to the imagination. Tolkien’s
understanding of heroism as belonging not to the great and the strong
so much as to the little and the weak–especially to the diminutive
hobbits. For while prone to complacency, they can be trusted with large
tasks because of their small ambitions, their modest satisfactions,
their capacity for loyalty and trust. The overall hero of the story is
Frodo. He must survive and win by surviving. He never knew of adventure
and danger until he was faced with the task of bearing the ring. He
came forward and took his claim to fame and braved all to save his
world from destruction. He is faced with so many challenges that a
normal man could never contend to. Not knowing of what would come of
himself, he fought through all the trails and dangers, and in the end
tried his hardest to finish what we set out to do in the begging. Never
giving up is a trait that a hero should possess, and that he never did.
Women take heroic roles as often and as well as men. Arwen is the
heroic beauty that sacrifices her chance at immortality in order to
marry her great love, Aragorn, the handsome, brooding warrior who
becomes the High King of Middle-earth. She is a real hero in that she
is willing to sacrifice all she has in the name of love. Love is
possibly one of the most challenging things to try and conquer and here
she is willing to risk all for a one chance at it. The love is without
parallel to our modern lives, because it is neither filial nor sexual
but the tentative unbelieving response to a caring so unlikely it seems
heroic.(Sale Heroism) That is a real hero. Willing to do anything for
the greater good. Aragorn is hero in his own ways. Once he was the heir
to the throne of Gondor, but fear of falling to same powers that
Isildur fell to. He ran from this and became a ranger. A very brave
ranger, who came to the side of the hobbits in Bree. He protected and
led the fellowship true traits of a hero.
Sam isn’t a warrior by training or inclination. He isn’t looking
for glory or adventure. He gets dragged into danger because of his love
and loyalty for his gentle master, Frodo, the soulful hobbit who’s been
given the great task of destroying the Dark Lord’s ring of evil. As
Frodo’s squire, Sam travels all the way to heart of the Dark Lord’s
kingdom, battling orc-goblins, giant spiders and his own fears and
frailties. He fights as bravely as any of the story’s flashy knight,
more bravely, because he’s no superhero with a magic sword, just an
ordinary guy overtaken by extraordinary circumstances. But his real
heroism lies in his unshakeable loyalty to his best friend, and in his
unshakeable loyalty to his hobbit values, his moral code. When all the
battles and quests are over, Sam returns to his prosaic hobbit life.
Boromir is one of the greatest heroes in the story. He is both
flawed and brave and these traits make for one of the best heroes in a
story. The way he was tempted by the ring shows that he is weak and
flawed, but the way that he shows his true strength and heroism is when
he defends Merry and Pippin and dies in the battle (Lord of the Rings
The Departure of Boromir.) After realizing that what he did to Frodo in
trying to take the ring from him was wrong he could die and honorable
Heroes need not be measured by size or strength, but by how big their heart is and how they are willing to brave everything for the inner goodness. Heroism can be lonely, scared, lost, willing, loving and compassionate. Heroes perform tasks that not everyday joes could do. Before you can be a hero you have to be true to yourself before you can be true to someone else. When you are true to yourself that is when the hero inside of you will come forward and shine, usually in the moment when you need it most.
Racism, another dominant theme, is tackled by polarizing the races to an extent where there are a dozen totally different kinds of being.
All of these people, physically so different from each other, overcome their prejudices to cooperate with creatures they despise or mistrust
in order to defeat their common enemy. What is important in the book is the gradual blurring of the boundaries between the different races, so you become less and less aware of them.
Humans are said to be the superior race over all others. But is this is not entirely true humans are weak and can be easily defeated.
Those are not traits that make you superior. Humans maybe bigger in size, but that should not be the only thing that makes them better than other races. Take the elves for example they look human, but take a long view on events, because they are immortal. Does that make them better than humans? No. Arwen and Aragorn were able to look through their differences and fell in love and later got married. Some people would consider this an interracial marriage, because she is an elf and he is human. Some don’t see that because they both look like humans.
The Dwarves live underground and very loud and obnoxious. They are considered very unpleasant and hard to get along with and they
dislike the elves on their principles. Dwarves judge elves before they got to know them, which is a big issue in society these days. People
need to take more time to get to know each other before making snap judgments of them. Which is a lesson learned by Gimli, he made a
stereotype of Legolas before he realized how great of a person that Legolas was. They later became friends all because Gimli was willing to give Legolas a chance.
Wizards are frowned upon because they can cast magic. In centuries past people were persecuted for being witches that were said to have magic powers. Gandalf was considered a disturber of the peace after he got Bilbo to kill the dragon in The Hobbit. In returning to the Shire in Lord of the Rings he was giving the evil eye by some. Now was this out of jealousy or was in out a fear of what they didn’t know or understand. Most people fear what they don’t understand and therefore never give it the chance to be a good thing. They just automatically assume that it is bad thing, and cast it away.
Hobbits are a lot like children, but live longer than normal men. Hobbits are not taking very seriously like children are most of the time not taking seriously, because they are smaller than everyone else. Hobbits tend to not take thing very seriously and this makes for a lighthearted side of things, but older people think that everything should be serious. Hobbits are also kind of redneck in away; they are very simple country folk that don’t have much adventure. Real laid back calm folk, this makes for people seeing them as a type to walk all over. My brother always says, “People always make fun of Rednecks until their car breaks down.” That is totally true people see hobbits in a since that because they are so easy that they can just take advantage of them.
It is not good to judge someone because of what they look, how they act, or what they believe in. People make these things too much a part of their lives. There is so much more to a person than what they do, you have to get to know the heart of person before you can really know what they mean. There is always a bigger picture than the one that is in front of you.
” I write things that might be classified as fairy-stories not because I wish to address children….but because I wish to write this kind of story and no other.” That is a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien. That quote says it all that is the reason why I believe that Tolkien is so successful. He didn’t write his stories for the audience he wrote them because that is what he wanted to do.
Lord of the Rings is a timeless classic that can be enjoyed on any level. Tolkien has such an enormous imagination he is able to come up
with the characters, the languages, the settings, and all the magic that went into creating these stories. These books are so interesting once you start reading them you are trapped in world of fantasy that you never want to leave. You are surround by the characters on their quest, it is like you become someone in the fellowship. I enjoyed reading it the most because it tackles so many life issues love, honor,
death, defeat, the great escape, and good versus evil. Tolkien is a master of literature for taking on these tasks in his stories to be able to write such an exquisite piece if art. The thing that I like the most the about the stories is in the love story that is intertwined with all the action and evil. This just shows you his versatility not only can write about the death and destruction but he can love as well. I believe that love is one of the hardest to try and understand and I believe that Tolkien did a great job of it. Through all the hardship that was going on in the Middle-Earth he creates the feeling of love through Arwen and Aragorn. I do believe that fantasy can effectively teach us about reality. There are morals, lessons, and themes to be found within the text that can help us gain knowledge and live our lives more productively. You can learn much about reality in the morals it contains.
By the use of his amazing imagination, as well as mastery of language and knowledge of myth and Christian principles, Tolkien created his characters that were the epitome of good and evil. It would seem the Ring itself had the power of the devil. However, the virtues of the Christ-like Frodo Baggins destroyed the all-consuming evil for the purpose of the common good. It is the Christ ethic that is the force that conquers evil. Tolkien’s writings mesmerize the reader, creating a spell bounding secondary reality for all that reads it.