Patrick Carpenter Essay, Research Paper
The Lord Of The Rings
By J.R.R. Tolkien
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 Morder 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 Morder where the Shadows lie.
The Lord of the rings, written by J.R.R. Tolkien, is truly one of the greatest novels ever written. The story of the War of the Ring has enthralled readers for more then half a century and has stimulated many other science fiction writers since. Undoubtedly Tolkien created one of the few literary works of genius in recent history.
“The Lord of the Rings” is indeed a fantastic tale of times of happiness, war, mystery, conflict and passion. In order to create the full cathartic effect of presenting and expressing the magnitude of the potential of each feeling, much time was put into the creation of Middle Earth, about twenty years to be precise. Without spending a great deal of time on it, the essence of “The Lord of the Rings” could not be the work of art it is; it would be a monotonous tale without any events of great importance.
In order to comprehend how this masterpiece was conceived, one must have some background of the author.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in South Africa in 1892. His father was an Englishman who moved there to take a higher banking position. When he was 3, Tolkien moved back to England with his mother and brother, never again to see his father who died of a severe hemorrhage in 1896. His mother died in 1904 so 12-year-old Tolkien (who remained a “devout” Roman Catholic for his entire life) and his brother were adopted by a priest in Birmingham, England. During his youth Tolkien discovered a love for language, and he and several cousins enjoyed making up their own languages to communicate.
At age 23, Tolkien graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Language and Literature. The following year he married his childhood sweetheart Edith Bratt, with whom he eventually had four children. It was around 1933 that Tolkien first began telling his children of a funny little creature named Bilbo, and then in 1937 he published The Hobbit. Middle-earth was never the same.
Although The Lord of the Rings was a mystical fairy tale, there is much truth behind it. The War of the Rings has several ties to the reality of our world.
Perhaps the most real fiction in The Lord of the Rings is the presence of good and evil and the terrible and never-ending struggle between them. Unmistakably the entire chronicle and plot is regarding the Rings Company in opposition to the Dark Lord and the many good nations in opposition to the same Evil.
The struggle between good and evil in The Lord of the Rings is no different then the struggle in our reality. The means are different of course but it is still alike. I ll summarize it to explain.
For the second time a great, terrible and evil power is planning to conquer the world and it won t cease for anything. Many good and wise people dedicate themselves to ending it, and many dedicate themselves to joining and assisting it. So the evil power invades the lands of Middle Earth with its hordes of warriors. They over run and defeat many and are on the verge of victory over all with just a few nations still resisting them. Then the good do a gallant and daring act and destroy the evil.
Well, the truth behind the story is that in the end good always triumphs over evil. There may be great costs to good, and many people may die but the champion is always good. Also that evil will remain present in some form until the end of time. That is a great truth right out of our world.
Bilbo, the main character of “The Hobbit”, often displayed his goodness throughout Tolkien s novel. One example of this goodness is when he decides to let the evil and corrupt Gollum live, out of pity for him, in the dark caves under the mountain. Bilbo could have easily slain the horrid creature mainly because of the ring, which he was wearing at that time, gave him the power of invisibility. Instead, he risked his life to let Gollum live by quickly jumping past the evil creature, thereby escaping a death of either character.
Gandalf, in later narrative, lectures Frodo on Bilbo s letting Gollum live by praising Bilbo s act of pity upon Gollum. Gandalf s words were, “Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy, not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded Frodo. For Gollum, later in the novel, saved Frodo from becoming possessed by the Ring of power. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment ”
Another form of goodness that is displayed throughout “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” is Bilbo and Frodo s actions of self-sacrifice. In “The Hobbit” there are two occurrences in which villains caught the dwarves, Bilbo s fellow adventurers. Instead of fleeing his enemies, Bilbo risked his life to save the dwarves from the clutches of evil.
One instance of this is when a clan of unusually large spiders captured Bilbo s companions and planned to eat them. Bilbo then devised a plan to distract the spiders away from their victims and then silently backtracked to his companions. He then cut the dwarves from the sticky spider webs with which they were tied, and together, they fought their way to safety.
Also, Frodo, in “The Lord of the Rings” was challenged with the destruction of the all-evil and corrupting One Ring of power. In doing so, Frodo was prepared to sacrifice his life. “We should also remember that Frodo s self-sacrifice is not only for the defeat of evil; it is also for the good of society, for the whole community of created beings. This suggests, in turn, that in the mind of the fantasist, society is worth saving.”
Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron C.S. Lewis
The world of the Third Age of Middle earth is inhabited by many strange and mythical beings including; Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Goblins, Dragons, Ents and Men. That reality also includes hobbits, ancient people smaller then dwarves, cheerful, peace loving and shy.
When Tolkien created “The Lord of the Rings” and its prelude, he created an entire imaginary world full of wonder and adventure. In reading his books you fall deeper and deeper into its detail and depth, which makes his fictional world very believable. In a way, it eventually mutates your sense of reality and creates what is called “secondary belief.”
Desiring his world to be realistically equipped down to the last whisker of the last monster, Tolkien put close to 20 years into the creation of middle earth, the three-volume Lord of the Rings, and its predecessor, The Hobbit. Even after his four masterpieces were finished and published, he continued to build upon the fictional reality that he created with his next two books “Simarillion” and “Akallabeth,” which told the early history of middle-earth.
Tolkien s ability to command secondary belief in his readers is astounding. History comes alive in the characters and events because he creates speeches and actions that have the “inner consistency of reality.”
It is well known that Tolkien had a passion and a degree in Language and Literature. So it was no surprise that he conjured up a fantasy lingo, to fully engulf and captivate his readers in the alternate world this novel may present.
Not only does the language create a land but it may also add a bit of Humor. This humor can also express the merriness of the people that have been written about. The language, in English is not exactly incorrect but it is odd, strange, and different, which matches the theme and plot. Some examples are:
“eleventy-first birthday”, “The invitations were limited to twelve- dozen (a number also called a Gross by the hobbits)”, “Many young hobbits were included and present by parental permission, for hobbits were easy going with their children in the matter of sitting up late.”, “What may you be wanting?”, “It was a cheerless land” and “The hobbits were merrymaking happily.”
By the use of his amazing imagination, as well as mastery of language and knowledge of myth, Tolkien created his characters, which were the personification of good and evil. His genius created the story of the War of the Ring and the people who sought it and sought it to be destroyed. Tolkien s writings mesmerize the reader, creating a spell bounding enchantment on all who experience The Lord of the Rings .