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Old 05-31-2002, 12:35 PM   #12
Stormdancer of Doom
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Sharon et al,

While I agree that Tolkien would have never heard the term PTSD, he did have a great deal of experience with "Shell Shock", the former, WW1 name for PTSD. He suffered it himself, and so did many, many other WW1 vets. He would have had extensive experience with the symptoms of it, as well as with survivor guilt etc. So it would not surprise me at all if he had worked a great deal of "shell shock" symptoms into Frodo's experience.

Much of Mordor's landscape reminds me heavily of the WW1 battlefield descriptions I have read (WW1 correspondant, Phillip Gibbs, "Now It Can Be Told", vols 1 and 2): corpses haunting the Dead Marshes... Dagorlad: blasted, polluted, oily residues, craters and mounds of slag and ash; Also applies to Gorgoroth, add to it: criscrossed with trenches, stinking, roiling with smoke and poisonous fumes... All WW1.

I think it's unwise to dismiss the shell shock elements from our understanding of Frodo simply because they are discussed using the PTSD terminology that Tolkien would not have been familiar with. Tolkien and his British culture understood what Shell Shock was. (Read Phillip Gibbs for more information on this... but only if you are not prone to depression. It is incredibly dark reading.)

Having said that, Sharon, I have been giving a lot of thought lately to your persistant stance that Valinor (Tol Eressea) was the best place for Frodo to go, and I began to realise that it's because I see The Shire, Rivendell, and Lorien as paradise that I cannot understand Frodo leaving them.

I'm still reviewing all of Frodo's "Ocean moments", dreams, comments, observations... Galadriel's song... There are plenty of them. From at least Tom Bombadil's house, he is clearly destined to go over the sea. So why does it bug me so much that he finally does?

Perhaps much of my issue with Frodo's departure is lack of understanding of how Tolken saw Valinor, and Tol Eressea.

I had read The Silmarillion long ago, but it is time to revisit it again, I think; and more importantly, I think, The Book of Lost Tales and other stories that deal with visitors to Tol Eressea and Valinor.

I see Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf leaving for Valinor and think nothing of it-- note, I am not happy for them at all. Nor sad. I rather think Gandalf is a bit odd for leaving his friend Aragorn in the height of his newfound happiness. Elrond I figure is eager to see his wife at long last; and Galadriel's departure makes me feel sorry for Celeborn more than anything else. So I probably don't hold Valinor in high enough esteem.

[ May 31, 2002: Message edited by: mark12_30 ]
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
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