Monday, February 28, 2011
For example, when the Fellowship is leaving Bree, Sam tosses an apple he was chewing at Bill Ferny. Look at this passage and try to figure out why Tolkien bothered to insert this tiny scene. What is its purpose in the
overall story? What does Tolkien gain from adding it to the tale? What does it say about Sam? Why is it an apple and not a biscuit or a potato?
Can you think of any other tiny scenes that seem unnecessary to the plot, but which you could argue are important to Tolkien's work for other reasons?
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
This also ties into something we said in class: the fact that Frodo does not have any flaws- except temptation toward the ring, but that is inevitable. But to come to think of it, Sam does not seem to have any flaws either, except for perhaps hatred/mistrust toward Gollum, but that is... understandable. Bilbo did not have a flaw either, besides wanting the ring. He had a little greed when he stole the Arkenstone, but after that he did not want any part of the treasure.
Sorry for the scattered ideas.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
In contrast, does Denethor's willingness to allow Pippin to serve equally with other warriors of Gondor suggest his respect/lack of respect for the hobbit, the low value he places on Pippin's life, his willingness to use people for his own gains, or something else?
For me, the duality between Gollum and Smeagol, as well as Gollum eventually winning the inner battle between the two, is the most subtle and volatile internal dialogue that Tolkien creates. The emergence of Smeagol gives Frodo-- and the reader --hope for Gollum's redemption. However, the destruction of the Ring hinges on Gollum's corruption. So what if Gollum had been keenly aware of Smeagol earlier on in the narrative? Wha
t if he had bound himself to Smeagol's desires in that moment? I imagine that Smeagol would have been given more of a voice, more power, and that he could have triumphed over Gollum's need for the Ring.
Without Gollum, where would Frodo be at the end of Return of the King? Smeagol's redemption would equal Frodo's downfall, just as Gollum's greed saves him in the end.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
" 'Strider' I am to one fat man who lives within a day's march of foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little town in ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so."
Who or what gave the Dunedain the right to withhold the "care and fear" of full knowledge from the Breelanders and the Shire folk? Were they justified in doing so? Is "simple" innocence better than informed consent?
Argue either position, using evidence from the texts.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
We see the transformation of Bilbo in The Hobbit, but the theme of transformation becomes more wide-scale in the Lord of the Rings. Strider, a weather-beaten ranger, transforms into Aragorn, son of Arathorn and the king of of Gondor. Tolkien hints at this transformation many times throughout the Fellowship to constantly build up the suspense. Gandalf transforms from the grey wizard to the white wizard. We even see the transformation of Legolas and Gimli (Elves and Dwarves) as they become best friends. Theoden is transformed back to normal from his corrupted form. And all four of the hobbits in the Fellowship, (especially Pippin) show substantial transformation. You can also go on the opposite side of the spectrum: Smeagol to Gollum, Borimir’s transformation (desire of the ring), and Saruman’s corruption - thirst for power and the ring.
Wizards, men, elves, dwarves, and hobbits all show signs of transformation in the Lord of the Rings.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Destiny is prevalent throughout the Fellowship of the Ring. In Chapter II of Book I, Gandalf reasons, “Bilbo was meant to find the ring, and not by its maker. In which case, you were also meant to have it.” When the Black Riders first approached Frodo, the narrator conveyed that “a sudden desire to hide from view of the rider came over him.” “When the Hobbits set out from the shire, they met Elves: “Our paths cross theirs seldom, by chance or purpose.” When Frodo asked if Bombadil heard him calling he replied, “Just chance brought me then, if chance you call it.” In Chapter XII of Book I, Aragon expresses, “There my heart is; but it is not my fate to sit in peace, even in the fair house of Elrond.” Destiny is also used in foreshadowing; Gandalf exclaims (in the Council of Elrond), “But he (Gollum) may play a part that neither he nor Sauron have forseen.” In some cases, Tolkien even uses this theme of destiny to foreshadow things to come. Tolkien really seems to emphasize that everything (good or bad) happens for a reason (not by mere luck alone).