Aspiration Over Temptation Essay

1968 words - 8 pages

All walks of life have within them aspirations and enticement, but only those who manage to resist those siren calls can overcome the inner struggle between what one wants, and what has to be done. In his magnificent novel, The Lord of the Rings: "The Fellowship of the Ring ," J.R.R. Tolkien symbolizes the nature of these two conflicting qualities in the representation of the Hobbits, and the One Ring. The Hobbits symbolize goodness that is associated with the beauty of peace and harmony, and the desire to do no harm. The One Ring is a symbol of persistence, temptation, and ultimately the power of evil . All who come within its presence become tainted, craving to possess it, its power, and its promises. This conflict is personified within the character of the mortal Frodo, and symbolized by the empowering One Ring, which tempts corruption. Frodo struggles within himself to resist the testament of the One Ring, which urges him to take the lenient way out. The One Ring offers power, protection, and a clash of wills for the bearer. For just as the bearer seeks to use the ring , the ring seeks to dominate the bearer through tempting him with what he desires. If one gives into desire it can only lead to corruption and evil, whereas if the willpower is stronger than the temptation, the good will prevail. The Ring being presented as a symbol of evil is possibly the most important idea represented in "The Fellowship of the Ring". Inside Tolkien's wonderfully imagined world, evil is the converse of creativity, and is dependent on destruction and failure for its basis. Its very existence, because it contains the evil aspiration of its creator, has the power to tempt, and corrupt. The most notable figures to come under the sway of the Ring in this way are Gollum, and Boromir. Upon first seeing the Ring, Gollum undergoes a transformation from a curious Hobbit, to a greedy murderer. The Ring warps the mind of Gollum, to make his foremost thought the desire to possess the Ring. Gollum's aspiration dwindles to nothing, and he kills his friend without even a thought of what he is doing: '"Give us that, Déagol, my love," said Sméagol, over his friend's shoulder. '"Why?"' said Déagol. '"Because it's my birthday, my love, and I wants it," said Sméagol. '" I don't care," said Déagol. "I have given you a present already, more than I could afford. I found this, and I'm going to keep it." '"Oh, are you indeed, my love" said Sméagol; and he caught Déagol by the throat, and strangled him, because the gold looked so bright and beautiful. Then he put the ring on his finger." (52) Boromir has a temptation to take the ring and try to use it for good ever since he bared his eyes on it at the Council of Elrond. The event that changed Frodo's mind to take the...

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