Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Identity, Duality

I was glad there was some discussion between the duality between Smeagol and Gollum because I think it is one of the most tragic character arcs I have ever read. For me, Gollum was created to be the part of Smeagol that could handle the power of the Ring. That is to say, Smeagol was the weaker, yet more virtuous, of the two sides of this individual, and the Ring--along with the circumstances leading up to and following the discovery of it--created Gollum not only as a testiment to its corrupting power, but also as a sort of defense mechanism on the part of Smeagol. That is, Smeagol created Gollum because he couldn't handle the power of the Ring, and he needed a way to protect himself. It's akin to the transformation of Rorschach in the graphic novel Watchmen. Rorschach abandoned his civilian identity, Walter, so that he could cope with his situations and surroundings. Needless to say, it didn't turn out well for either characters. Your thoughts?

1 comment:

Radagast said...

I find it interresting that you say Smeagle created Gollum to protect himself. I've never thought of it that way. I've always thought of Gollum as more of the corrupted/power hungry side of Gollum that came out and sort of took over when he had the ring. One thing that I've always found interesting is that the ring seems to represent power and how people want it to have power over others. However, with Smeagle, he just sort of wants to have the ring. He doesn't necessarily want anything from possessing it besides to have it. So, he's not really power hungry. What is it about the ring that Smeagle/Gollum wants it for?