Appeal of _Lord of the Rings_

November 26, 2011 at 2:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Why is <u>Lord of the Rings</u> by J.R.R. Tolkien so popular even among people who do not read Fantasy? This is a hard question to answer. When the new century rolled around Tolkien was named the author of the Twentieth century by many groups. Two movies based on the first two parts of the book have been huge box office successes. Tolkien’s books have been responsible for exploding Fantasy into a huge genre, bringing it into great demand. Numerous books try to emulate the book but few succeed. <u>Lord of the Rings</u> is popular because of its characters, story, setting and themes.

Characters must be memorable, likable and sympathetic for readers to identify with to follow them through a book. Tolkien’s characters are a powerful draw to readers. The characters have many admirable traits that make them realistic. Frodo is an innocent thrust out into a dangerous world beyond the Shire. He becomes a noble, self-sacrificing person to save his world. Sam Gamgee is the loyal friend any person would want, sticking    ;with you through all problems. Aragorn is a reluctant warrior who believes he will never rule. He grows throughout the story into a wise leader of his people. Faramir is a young warrior that must take on a great responsibility. Women characters were not completely absent from the book. Eowyn proves her worth as a warrior and interesting love interest for one of  the characters. Members of the elves and dwarves play important roles. Legolas and Gimli discover friendship where distrust once ruled. Galadriel and Elrond of the elves play vital roles of wisdom. The wizard Gandalf provides a fatherly figure of great virtue and courage. Gollum is a complex character wavering between two extremes of personality, but obsessed with possession of the ring. A reader can find many characters to love or identify within the book.

Another element of the book that appeals to readers is the setting. Middle Earth is a vividly realized world with a vast history and many cultures. Tolkien  spent hours in researching mythology and creating languages for his book. The setting has a large array of landscapes from tall mountains, deep forests and underground living places of the dwarves. A strong presence of nature is depicted throughout the book with the different creatures. Ancient ruins from previous cultures permeate the land giving it a sense of history along with different races and strange creatures like the Ents. Tolkien describes Middle Earth in great detail bringing the world to life. This provides readers with the illusion that Middle Earth could have been real somewhere, which helps keep the reader’s sense of wonder alive.

In addition to characters and setting, <u>Lord of the Rings</u> is popular because of the plot. Tolkien fashioned a plot on a grand scale. He drew from the area of the ancient epics like “Beowulf.” The story revolved around a magic ring that corrupted anyone it touched. This set off events in the quest to destroy the ring. Armies clashed to defeat the growing evil in the land while two innocent hobbits underwent a grueling journey into the heart of evil. Readers find such epic stories of great interest, perhaps touching something deep inside their psyches. Tolkien was a master of appealing to this interest.

Finally, the last element that makes this book popular are the themes. The many different themes provide readers with timeless ideals that people hope exist in the real world. One of the main themes is the quest to destroy the ring, symbol of evil in Middle Earth. It is a dangerous, but noble endeavor. This leads to the themes of friendship and loyalty demonstrated by characters like Frodo, Sam, Legolas and Gimli. Honor is a theme shown by Aragon’s growth into leadership and being an accomplished warrior that inspires people. The themes of <u>Lord of the Rings</u> are universal, appealing to the higher nature of people.

<u>Lord of the Rings</u> by J.R.R. Tolkien is popular because it speaks to everyone through its characters, setting, plot and themes. Tolkien created a book that resonates with people from all walks of life. When I read the book for the first time, I kept reading it until the end without stopping. The book impressed me and embarked me on a lifelong love of Fantasy. People cannot be wrong when various groups name <u>Lord the of Rings</u> by J.R.R. Tolkien the greatest book of the last century.

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