Final Essay 2 - Kelsi McDougle Rhetoric II The Lord of the...

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Kelsi McDougle Rhetoric II The Lord of the Rings 25 October 2013 J.R.R. Tolkien’s work The Lord of the Rings consistently uses nature associated with different settings to challenge the characters within the story. As Frodo, Sam, and the rest of the Fellowship venture through Middle-earth, they encounter several different forests, including the Old Forest, Lothlórien, and Fangorn Forest. Tolkien’s descriptions of the trees in these forests develop a sense of their significance in Middle-earth as they reflect the different characteristics of cultures within Middle-earth. Each culture represented in the trees affects the development of the Fellowship as they carry out their journey. Cynthia M. Cohen states that Tolkien enables “his readers to see trees . . . in a vivid, new light” by “making trees. . . significant in the narrative” (Cohen 119). Cohen specifically discusses the role of Primary World trees—trees that appear to do nothing out of the usual but that Tolkien pays close attention to their colors and behaviors. Tolkien idealizes trees and establishes their significance by using them to communicate the characteristics of the different places they are found. From this technique, Tolkien uses the nature of Middle-earth as a means to present challenges assisting in the development of the members of the Fellowship. The cultures within the different forests, including the trees of the Old Forest, the Elves of Lothlórien, and the Ents of Fangorn, present unique challenges to the Fellowship. These challenges, involving fear of the unknown and sacrifice for one another, test the strength of the Fellowship. Tolkien’s descriptions of the appearances of various Primary Trees reflect the
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significant challenges presented by the cultures within the Old Forest, Lothlórien, and Fangorn Forest. Tolkien’s first in-depth description of Primary Trees arises as Frodo, Sam, Pippin, and Merry exit the Shire and enter the Old Forest. The Old Forest proves to be the first setting in the story that presents the characters with dangers altering their future paths. Tolkien describes the
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