Thursday, April 28, 2011
Throughout The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and much of Tolkien's works, the theme of fellowship is pervasive. The quests which Tolkien's characters pursue are communal ones, undertaken with friends, without which friends they could not succeed.
The loneliest characters we meet come to bad ends; friendships are found in unlikely places; different ethnic and racial peoples are expected to band together in order to fight evil effectively; killing your best friend, even on accident, creates a grief that "never fades." Many of the medieval texts we dealt with also contribute to this idea (consider groups of knights and the comitatus).
And, of course, Tolkien himself had many close friends among the Inklings and TCBS who greatly influenced him.
Dr. Donovan and I strove to illustrate this important theme in our class through pub groups, in-class groupwork, blog discussion, and encouraging y'all to attend Hobbit Society functions. (Remember, even the teaching relationship between Dr. Donovan and myself is a communal one!)
What examples or anecdotes--either textual, or from your actual experience in the class--can you share to support (or contradict) (or complicate) this theme? Why is it so pervasive? Is it even important to focus on?