The Lord of Rings is a novel based on epic fantasy. It was written way back in the period between 1937 and 1949. Its setting is in a place known as middle earth and its major focus is the war that rages between good and bad. To bring out the theme, the writer adopts some characters some of whom on one side represent evil while the others on the other end represent goodness. The storyline brings out the themes of the evil forces that try to push down the good forces that exist in the world at large and within individuals in a more specific outlook. The main character who represents the good forces trying to overcome evil is a young boy, orphaned at childhood and adopted by one Bilbo Baggins. The name of the boy is Frodo Baggins (Rose and Neil 12).
The evil forces are represented by the major antagonist, Dark Lord Sauron, who in a quest for power to rule over all other kingdoms, goes to Mount Doom to have the Ring forged for him. The ring is believed to have the powers to transform people from good to bad. He rules for a long period of time, with monstrous qualities, until his death which meets him in a battle field. His ring gets lost and changes hands over time through battle, until it gets to the hands of Bilbo, who as this time believes his only heir to be Frodo (Rose and Neil 23).
The origin of the Ring is unknown to both of them, until the Ring takes a toll on the good heartedness of Frodo and transforms him into a monster like creature. Luckily, there is a wizard by the name of Gandalf the Grey, who has a synopsis of the history of the Ring. He advises Frodo to destroy the Ring for the safety of the occupants of Middle Earth, and Frodo obeys without question. The major challenge however is that for the ring to be destroyed, it must be returned to the mount at which it was forges, which is miles away and calls for a lot of courage. Luckily for Frodo, a Fellowship of the Ring team is formed to accompany him, and one of the members is Frodo’s close friend Samwise (Rose and Neil 27).
Throughout the journey there are lots of challenges to be overcome and battles to be fought, some of which leave Fordo for dead and sometimes discouraged, but he overcomes with the help of his friend Sam. He loses some of his companions within the fellowship but this does not deter him. What makes it worse is that at this time Sauron has taken a new form in his other life and is sending Ringwraiths his servants to attack Frodo and seize the ring. At one time he is stabbed with a knife and at another bitten with deadly poison but he survives all the same. These and many more are just a glimpse into the trouble Frodo has to go through, in a quest to conquer evil (Rose and Neil 39).
With this short preview of just what the book is all about, let us now have a look at some three crucial questions:
- How is Frodo a Hero Archetype?
The book brings out Frodo as an innocent, humble and courageous man who overlooks his personal interests and safety for the sake of destroying evil forces that are present within the place in which he lives. The journey to mount doom is not an easy one, and in the process, he loses friends and almost loses his own life. However, with a strong-willed heart and focus on the major goal, he succeeds in getting to the mount and does as he was instructed. He is a hero in the sense that although he never fully recovers from the physical, mental and spiritual torture that he suffered throughout the journey, he lives to tell of his story, to the extent that his birthday was marked as a special day in Minas Tirith. However, the bottom line is that Frodo eventually found peace after being granted passage to Valinor by the inhabitants of Shire (Jane 29).
- How are Frodo's experiences universal to humankind?
It is said that experience is not what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you. Frodo goes through some heart-rending experiences, both as a young boy and as a grown-up man, some of which leave a permanent mark of pain in his being. He inherited a ring innocently from a man who was close to him, but comes to find out that he has to make a tough choice between retaining that ring as an heir, or to destroy it and lose the power to rule. The evil and god forces within him would have raged war within him, making it difficult for him to choose, but he decided to do the right thing; destroy it for the sake of a larger society at stake. (Jane 34)
Human beings are always faced with choices which come packaged with advantages and disadvantages. If one chooses to forgo one option simply because the bad outweighs the good, then they find that there is a certain price to pay in order to uphold the good.
- How is Frodo a model by which people can comprehend experience and cope with the enormous and often baffling task of being human?
Frodo clearly shows us that the experiences that come our way are never permanent. They are only there to mould us because anything that does not kill us only makes us stronger. Humanity is all about the opposing forces trying to thrive over each other and this is what makes people find themselves faced with choices that they have to make with each passing day. Frodo is a real model who proves to us that when good conquers evil, then peace and tranquility will definitely take over. (Jane 44)
In conclusion, Frodo brings out the theme of death versus immortality, showing us that humanity or human beings only die spiritually and psychologically when they allow evil to overcome them and when they are not willing enough to make things work out as they should. Despite being orphaned at a tender age of 12, he continued to have a zeal for life, even though he might have lost dearest thing to his heart. He presents humanity with a great and though provoking challenge of keeping the eyes fixed on the ultimate price, despite the obstacle, challenges and weaknesses that come on the way.