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Unformatted text preview: Matt Redmond 12/10/08 Philosophy of Tolkien Long Paper The Cloud of Fear Throughout J.R.R Tolkiens epic novel The Lord of the Rings , several characters encounter situations where they are forced to overcome great fears. At the time of the story, Middle Earth is under constant threat of evil, and as a result the atmosphere is filled with uncertainty. The courage of mankind is holding on by a thread, and the race of the Elves is leaving Middle Earth. The fate of the people of Middle Earth lies in an extraordinarily small amount of hope that a Hobbit, a rather unknown creature to most of the inhabitants of Middle Earth, can destroy the One Ring of power. In order for this to happen, great sacrifices have to be made. Three characters in particular face massive sacrifices, and in each scenario, the likelihood of death is much higher than that of success. Frodo, the ring bearer, faces ultimate doom in his goal of destroying the One Ring, Aragorn has to choose whether or not to travel into the Paths of the Dead, where no man has ever survived, in order to help defeat the armies of Mordor, and Gandalf must overcome a Balrog, an ancient minion of Morgoth, to help the fellowship escape Moria. These are all acts of sacrifice that coincide with the Christian belief in selflessness. Although the salvation of mankind is not only attributed to these selfless acts, they serve as three examples of the willingness to preserve good in the face of evil. What distinguishes their acts from others in terms of importance is that in performing these acts, they become Christ like figures because in a way, each of them is resurrected. In order to unveil the cloud of fear that encompasses Middle Earth, Frodo, Aragorn, and Gandalf all sacrifice themselves for the betterment of mankind even when death is a distinct possibility. Aragorns path throughout the story is one of growth and fulfillment. He enters the novel while the Hobbits are in Bree, and he does not immediately come off as someone who can be trusted. We meet him as a ranger from the north named Strider. He leads the hobbits to safety in Rivendell, and in doing so, gains their trust. In Rivendell, we learn Striders true identity: he is Aragorn son of Arathorn, and he is...
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