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The Fellowship Of The Ring By J.R.R. Tolkien

1613 words - 6 pages

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Lord Acton once said, "Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely." He was probably referring to the powerful kings and queens who held power over many people. But, we could see how power is something many of the characters in Tolkien's story are trying to have and hold onto in some form or another. In The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien tells us a story about Frodo Baggins who is ordered by Gandalf to destroy the powerful ring discovered accidentally by his older cousin, Bilbo. Like the rest of the hobbits, Frodo has lived quite peacefully and well, not having to worry about how dark and dreary the rest of Middle Earth was becoming under Sauron's growing power. Now, Frodo, a small, serene creature, will have to combat the most powerful force on Middle Earth, Sauron, and, in doing so, save Middle Earth from being destroyed completely. Tolkien is telling us that power motivates many of us in our lives. However, he seems to be warning us against how corrupting and evil power can become, as some misuse the ring (the symbol of this power) continuously in this story. We should be more like Gandalf and Galadriel in knowing what power truly is. Power is found inside of ourselves and in our heart and not by defeating others and ruling over them by word or through deeds.
Both Gandalf and Galadriel know what power is and do not try to gain more and more of it. They know that having too much power can harm them in the end and would make them evil creatures, working for Sauron. In telling Frodo about the possible journey up ahead, Gandalf warns him about the ring and states, "I should not make use of it, if I were you" (59). The powerful wizard knows that the ring is full of power. He is wise, as all wizards are, to know how too much power can be dangerous. We can see this more clearly when Gandalf says, "It is far more powerful than I ever dared to think at first, so powerful that in the end it would utterly overcome anyone of mortal race who possessed it. It would possess him" (70). After having said this, he tells Frodo how this ring of doom originated. Clearly, Gandalf is wise enough to know that behind all that power lies weakness and evil. Even if one might first use the ring for something good and meaningful to others, it will eventually possess that person and make that person the slave to the ring. Galadriel even knows this quite well. Frodo offers her the ring, since he believes she deserves it the most and also knows how to control it. When Frodo tells her this, Galadriel seems to be strongly tempted to take the power offered by Frodo. She tells him, "For many long years I had pondered what I might do, should the Great Ring come into my hands, and behold!" (431). The exclamation point reveals to us how Galadriel might be really taken in by the thought of power at this moment and how raptured she is in this thought. But, she too is wise as Gandalf is. In the end, she even tells...

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