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The Struggle of Good and Evil

Essay by review  •  October 8, 2010  •  Essay  •  2,142 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,402 Views

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"Three Rings for the Eleven-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(Tolkien)." Master of storytelling J.R.R. Tolkien continues the lives of the fictitious creatures that he introduced in The Hobbit, in his modern classic The Fellowship of the Ring. He artfully illustrates the truths of the evil that plague the hearts of man. He tells a story of greed, destruction and how mortal men are enslaved by their delusions of grander and how they feast upon the misery of others to elevate their own pitiful egos, that prove to be their worst vices.

It is a struggle of good and evil that begins with a cursed gift of a powerful ring, the One Ring, that leads one wise hobbit on the most important journey of his life-time thus far, for he isn't only fighting for his own soul that is threatened to be claimed by the very ring he is given, but those of all of his people. The ring is sought after by its very creator Sauron the all powerful sorcerer, and Dark Lord of the middle-earth to aid in his evil deeds.

In his sin blackened hands the ring has the power to rob the creatures of middle-earth of their one fundamental right endowed by God himself; their precious freedom. The story follows Frodo on his journey to the Crack of Doom a fiery mountain in the layer of Mordor where the Dark Lord himself reigns with a swift hand. There and only there may he not only destroy the symbolic ring but put to rest the very demons that drove at his soul and threatened to over power him.

J.R.R. Tolkien was Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa on January 2, 1892 and died on September 3, 1973. (St. James 558) He delighted and titillated readers of all ages by first introducing them to the middle-earth in The Hobbit, a story of Frodo's cousin Bilbo. The story detailed his mythical journey in which he was accompanied by wizards and elves in search of rumored treasures. The One Ring that plays a major role in The Fellowship of the Ring was the fruit of Bilbo's struggles in The Hobbit. Although The Hobbit was a large success, his greatest literary accomplishment was not from the prequil but the actual trilogy which he entitled The Lord Of the Rings. The trilogy was hailed as a work of absolute genius by Raynor Unwin, Architect of Middle Earth, in 1974 (112).

Despite that The Lord of the Rings has been a huge success world wide being translated into six different languages, The Fellowship of the Ring alone selling eight million copies by 1980, (St.James 560) to date spawning a motion picture trilogy, infiltrating the ideals of such cults as the 1960 Hippies and the 1990 Russian Idealist movement,(St. James 560) being hailed as a modern literary classic, it was something that almost didn't occur. British publishers were leery about taking on the project entitled The Lord of the Rings. In comparison to their American counter parts the publishing company was relatively poor and feared losing money in the investment that was an adult follow up to a children's novel, that would be sold to an adult audience, at an adult price.(Grotta 113) The production was originally to be published in a large volume, rather than its actual printing in a three separate installments which included The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Against the feuding authors wishes in 1954 HarperCollins released The Fellowship of the Ring,(Grotta 113) the second chapter in the lives of his extravagantly esteemed inhabitants of the middle-earth.

Many critics waited upon the release of the last volume of the series, which was published in 1955, before allowing publication of their opinions of the novel into mainstream journalism,(Grotta 116) Fellow British writer and author of Through the Looking Glass C.S. Lewis wrote in Time and Tide "here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron; here is a book that will break your heart...good beyond any hope." (Grotta 114) The Guardian hailed Tolkien as a "born story teller",(Grotta 114) and the New Statesman and Nation called it "a story magnificently told with every kind of color, movement and greatness." (Grotta 114) After a long await and dealing with bickering publishers Tolkien's Lord of the Rings Trilogy, finally arrived.

The story follows heroic Frodo the Ringbearer. An unlikely sort who had been an out cast among fellow Hobbits do to the shenanigans of his cousin Bilbo, for hobbits were short hairy little creatures that had simple desires and led simple lives. Being adventurous was a trait that had passed them by and they in turn discouraged romping about the Shire and fighting for legendary treasures. They looked upon Bilbo and his descendants in disparagement. Tolkien makes this point in the first part of his trilogy The Fellowship of the Ring :

... the general opinion in the neighborhood was that Bilbo, who had always been rather cracked, had at last gone quite mad, and had run off into the Blue. There he had undoubtedly fallen into a pool or a river and had come to a tragic, but hardly an untimely, end. The blame was mostly blamed on Gandalf.

'If only that dratted wizard will leave young Frodo alone, perhaps he'll settle down and grow some hobbit sense,'they said. And to all appearance the wizard did leave Frodo alone, and he did settle

down, but the growth of hobbit-sense was

not very noticeable. Indeed, he at once

began to carry on Bilbo's reputation for

oddity(70).

Frodo is heir to Bilbo's treasures which include the One Ring, a ring of awesome power that Bilbo begrudgingly passes down to the young Frodo. Unlike his cousin Frodo is heroic, courageous, crafty, wise, and strong willed. With the encouragement of Gandalf, the high wizard only second in line to Sauron, Frodo sets off for the Crack of Doom where the powerful ring must be destroyed once and for all to preserve Fordo's true liberation, the liberation of his spirit. (Miller 96) Throughout his journey Frodo exudes the vibes of a true leader and takes on challenges with chivalrous courage. One night while traveling to Elvendell Frodo and his comrades encounter the ghoulish Ring Wraith's, employed by the Dark Lord himself, Frodo fights the urge to

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