The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Middle-Earth Discussions > The Books > Chapter-by-Chapter
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-14-2004, 03:34 PM   #1
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,529
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Silmaril LotR -- Book 2 - Chapter 10 - The Breaking of the Fellowship

With this chapter, we finish our discussions of The Fellowship of the Ring. Congratulations to all participants for your endurance in staying with the discussion for these past months, and thanks for all of the great contributions! We hope interest will continue as we begin The Two Towers next week.

Now, for this week’s discussion: The decision must be made. It is no coincidence that it is made at Amon Hen, the Seat of Seeing. Yet it is not a decision which is made on the basis of information, but it is about the will to do the task that is necessary. Frodo has a choice, and though good and evil struggle within (and without) him, it is his own will which makes the choice.

The importance of Boromir for that choice is unquestionable; various aspects of his speech and behaviour will certainly form a major part of our discussion, especially since we have discussed his ‘corruption’ through the Ring as evidenced in the previous chapters. I noticed a typical horror element in his encounter with Frodo – the latter’s feeling that unfriendly eyes were watching him, then turning around only to see a friend, one whom he has trusted until now. Later, I can’t help but wonder about his closing sentence to Frodo: “A madness took me, but it has passed.” Has it? I have serious doubts and think that his obsession with the Ring would not have been over, had Frodo returned.

I find it very interesting to see the surrounding world through Frodo’s eyes on Amon Hen – before the Fellowship splits, we get a look at the overall situation of Middle-earth. I wonder, is it the location that has ‘magical’ properties, enabling anyone who comes there to see? Did the Numenoreans find it or impart some special quality to the location? Does the Ring have something to do with Frodo’s expanded sight?

Meanwhile, the others make their decisions, though those are later overthrown by the circumstances. What do you think their choices say about each of them?

The closing scene with Sam and Frodo is one that the movie reproduced very well, staying quite close to the book.

I assume that all of the editions of the book have the brief notice at the end of the chapter, telling of the next books and what will happen there. Does anyone know if Tolkien or the publisher wrote those?
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 08:52 PM   #2
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
1420!

Ahhh, here is the true breaking of the Fellowship, the destruction of this waning friendship.

First off, I have a few comments to Esty, who again has done a wonderful job getting the discussion started, and has brought up some good ones to discuss, I thank yee Esty.

Quote:
“A madness took me, but it has passed.” Has it? I have serious doubts and think that his obsession with the Ring would not have been over, had Frodo returned.
I think we can all say that if Boromir, by some chance, met up with Frodo again and had to pass the same test, he would have again failed. But I think his closing words, he was speaking truth. A madness did pass through him, and it did pass. Now, it slipped back into his "unconsciousness," so for a time it has "passed" through him, but if he was faced with it again, it would arise again, and again he would have fallen to the ring.

I think what's interesting is Frodo is again left with the decision of "what to do?" As the ringbearer, he holds on what happens, where they go next. Frodo's first decision of going to Moria, ended in despair, ended with the death of Gandalf. Now, he's faced with that same decision, where to go? Maybe, learning from his previous error, he decides, he has to get out of the company, and I think Boromir was the final nudge Frodo needed to just do that. Boromir showed Frodo that the Ring was tearing the Fellowship apart, and Boromir was only the first to fall. The Ring saw Boromir's weakness and went after him, but how long would it take for the Ring to start bending it's will on one of the other members? Boromir made Frodo realize he wasn't safe around the Company with the Ring, and he had to get out before another member turned into a Boromir.

What's interesting though is it is Sam who goes along with Frodo. And I say this because, the Ring doesn't seem to effect Sam much. Maybe the ring sees that Sam is so simply, and loves Frodo so much, it would be hard to corrupt someone like Sam, so in steps Gollum, ahhh, now the ring has somebody to work with...this could lead to further discussions down the road.

There's one quote from Boromir's that does intrigue me, and this is when we see him first go "mad."
Quote:
"It is by our own folly that the Enemy will defeat us," cried Boromir, "How it angers me! Fool! Obstinate Fool! Running wilfully to death and ruining our cause. If any mortals have claim to the Ring, it is the men of Numenor, and not Halflings. It is not yours save by unhappy chance. It might have been mine. It should be mine. Give it to me!"
This quote intrigues me, because running wilfully to death and ruining our cause. I'm sorry Boromir, I adore you, but the "cause" is to destroy the ring, and what would ruin the "cause" if by someone taking it to try to overthrow Sauron. Also, If any mortals have claim to the Ring, it is the men of Numenor, and not Halflings. Again, ok Isildur caried the Ring, but it's not his, it's nobody's but Sauron's. Secondly, sorry again Boromir, but you aren't "numenorean," you are part numenorean, but not full. Problem is at this time Boromir was truly mad and truly corrupted by the ring, so I don't think he's in control of what he's doing and here's why.

Quote:
He rose and passed his hand over his eyes, dashing away the tears. "What have I said?" he cried. "What have I done..."
After Frodo leaves Boromir has no idea what he did, besides the fact that he's rubbing away the tears, and a "madness" had took him. I would have to say, that Boromir wasn't in control of what he was saying or doing, the Ring had taken control of him, it had fed his desires, took control, and when it left, the Boromir we all love, is back in control, not this "mad Boromir."

I love the tension Tolkien builds up, or maybe the foreshadowing evil.
Quote:
Suddenly he awoke from his thoughts: a strange feeling came to him that something was behind him, that unfriendly ees were upoin him. He sprang up and turned; but all that he saw to his surprise was Boromir, and his face was smiling and kind.
Quote:
He laid his hand on the hobbit's shoulder in friendly fashion; but Frodo felt the hand trembling with suppressed excitement. He stepped quickly away, and eyed with alarm, the tall Man, nearly twice his height and many times his match in strength.
First quote, Tolkien does leave you wonder if the "unfriendly eyes upon Frodo," are Boromir's, and it would definately point to that it was Frodo's thought of "unfriendly eyes" were Boromir's. Also, the "tall man, nearly twice his height...etc." is Frodo sort of sizing up Boromir, and saying, oh crap, this guy can beat me with two hands tied behind his back. So Frodo, being as smart as he is always keeps that "stone" between him and Boromir.

I think even in these closing moments, before Boromir's true madness, Boromir is struggling to hold on, he's struggling to resist. But Frodo felt the hand trembling with suppressed excitement. The words "trembling" and "suppressed" come out to me, that at this point, right before Boromir goes mad, is Boromir still fighting within himself to "repent." He's trying to resist the lure, he's trying to "suppress" it, and the "trembling hand" I think points out to the stress falling upon Boromir right now.

Anyway those are my thoughts, cheers.
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2004, 10:02 PM   #3
THE Ka
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
THE Ka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: As with the flygja
Posts: 1,559
THE Ka has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via MSN to THE Ka
Thumbs up Wonderful!

That's really well put. (Better than i'm doing over at the LOTR Astrology project... we're un-decided as to whether he's a Pariotic Cancer or Domineering Scorpio.) Maybe you should check it out sometime.

Again wonderful description of Boromir's clouded mind at the breaking of the fellowship. Couldn't have seen it better described anywhere else.

~Another Nice Ka Post~
__________________
Vinur, vinur skilur tú meg? Veitst tú ongan loyniveg?
Hevur tú reikað líka sum eg,
í endaleysu tokuni?

Last edited by THE Ka; 11-14-2004 at 10:03 PM. Reason: that pesky concious of mine telling me to use punctuation!!!
THE Ka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 09:58 AM   #4
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
At first he could see little. He seemed to be in a world of mist in which there were only shadows: the Ring was upon him. Then here and there the mist gave way and he saw many visions: small and clear as if they were under his eyes upon a table, and yet remote. There was no sound, only bright living images. The world seemed to have shrunk and fallen silent. He was sitting upon the Seat of Seeing, on Amon Hen, the Hill of the Eye of the Men of Numenor. Eastward he looked into wide uncharted lands, nameless plains, and forests unexplored. Northward he looked, and the Great River lay like a ribbon beneath him, and the Misty Mountains stood small and hard as broken teeth. Westward he looked and saw the broad pastures of Rohan; and Orthanc, the pinnacle of Isengard, like a black spike. Southward he looked, and below his very feet the Great River curled like a toppling wave and plunged over the falls of Rauros into a foaming pit; a glimmering rainbow played upon the fume. And Ethir Anduin he saw, the mighty delta of the River, and myriads of sea-birds whirling like a white dust in the sun, and beneath them a green and silver sea, rippling in endless lines.
My first response on reading this was of how similar it is to the episode in Matthew chapter 4:

Quote:
Then the devyll tooke hym up agayne and ledde hym into an excedynge hye mountayne, and shewed hym al the kyngdomes of the worlde, and the beauty of them, and sayde unto hym: all these will I geve the, iff thou wilt faull doune and worshp me. Then sayde Jesus unto hym. Avoyd Satan. For it is written, Thou shalt worshyp thy Lorde God, and hym only shalt thou serve.
(Sorry about the Tyndale translation - it was the first to hand because its my favourite).

CT points out that his father at first wasn’t sure whether the clarity of Frodo’s vision was due to the power of the seat or of the Ring, but either way Frodo’s vision is ‘magical’ or ‘psychic’. Its not the result of him simply being high up. It seems that in the final conception the hill itself enhances the viewer’s sight. My own feeling is that its something that can’t be accounted for, & is simply necessary for the effect. Tolkien needs Frodo to have this vision, so he does. The ‘vision’ itself seems threefold - first there is the vista across the land, nature perfect & for the most part unsullied (though the black spike of Isengard is present). Then there come the signs of war - we’ve moved from the ‘timeless’ world of nature to the temporal world, & the war:

Quote:
But everywhere he looked he saw the signs of war. The Misty Mountains were crawling like anthills: orcs were issuing out of a thousand holes. Under the boughs of Mirkwood there was deadly strife of Elves and Men and fell beasts. The land of the Beornings was aflame; a cloud was over Moria: smoke rose on the borders of Lorien. Horsemen were galloping on the grass of Rohan; wolves poured from Isengard. From the havens of Harad ships of war put out to sea; and out of the East Men were moving endlessly: swordsmen, spearmen, bowmen upon horses, chariots of chieftains and laden wains. All the power of the Dark Lord was in motion.
Finally the vision moves into the heart of evil:

Quote:
Then at last his gaze was held: wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant, he saw it: Baraddur, Fortress of Sauron. All hope left him. And suddenly he felt the Eye. There was an eye in the Dark Tower that did not sleep. He knew that it had become aware of his gaze. A fierce eager will was there. It leaped towards him; almost like a finger he felt it, searching for him.
Its almost like the vision in Galadriel’s mirror: first Frodo saw

‘the Mirror cleared and he saw a twilit land. Mountains loomed dark in the distance against a pale sky. A long grey road wound back out of sight.’

Then ‘The sea rose and raged in a great storm. Then he saw against the Sun, sinking blood-red into a wrack of cloudsthe black outline of a tall ship with torn sails riding up out of the West. Then a wide river flowing through a populous city. Then a white fortress with seven towers. And then again a ship with black sails, but now it was morning again, and the water rippled with light, and a banner bearing the emblem of a white tree shone in the sun. A smoke as of fire and battle arose, ‘

Finally ‘ The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat's, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing. ‘

As I say, virtually the same vision reiterated. Why Tolkien chose to do this is another question. We have a vision of the world, followed by the appearance of Men, culminating in the vision of ultimate evil.

We do seem to be presented with Frodo’s ‘temptation’ here, & once again the old Boethian/Manichaen problem rears its head. Frodo watches the war, as if spread out on a table below him. He’s distanced from the events, looking down on them, holding the fate of the world literally in his hands. He’s an ‘outsider’, free to choose his course of action. But then he realises something - his response to the Eye:

Quote:
He heard himself crying out: Never, never! Or was it: Verily I come, I come to you? He could not tell. Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: Take it off! Take it off! Fool, take it off! Take off the Ring! The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so. He took the Ring off his finger.
It seems that the ‘Voice’ & the ‘Eye’ are both within him & without, internal ‘drives’ & external ‘forces’. Or perhaps he has so ‘internalised’ the Ring & all it represents by this stage that he can’t distinguish the Ring’s response (‘Verily I come, I come to you’) from his own (‘Never, never!). Its interesting that Tolkien writes ‘The two powers strove in him’, but then instantly qualifies this by saying ‘Take it off! Take it off! Fool, take it off! Take off the Ring! The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented.’

How can Frodo be balanced between something within him? Perhaps for the same reason as Galadriel can say that the Eye ‘is also in my mind’. The whole vision (both visions actually) seem to be both external & internal happenings. There are two ‘wars of the Ring’, & both are summed up in this moment of vision on the Seat of Seeing. Or to be more accurate, there is a single war being fought, & it is fought both by the individual & within him.

One last point, for now, about Boromir. Was anyone else struck by how Gollum like he became in the confrontation with Frodo - moving between being friendly, almost wheedling, then haughty & threatening, & finally attacking him & then bursting into tears when he fails? You can almost see the same thing happening in Isildur. It seems that Tolkien sees this as the inevitable transformation of the personality that the Ring brings about.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 10:29 AM   #5
Aldarion Elf-Friend
Animated Skeleton
 
Aldarion Elf-Friend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Playing in Peoria
Posts: 35
Aldarion Elf-Friend has just left Hobbiton.
I, for one, am looking forward to the continuing discussion on Two Towers and on through the trilogy. In fact, when we're all done I hope that we can continue with The Hobbit or my personal favorite, the Silmarilion. That, however, is a discussion for some future time.

Several things jumped out at me in this chapter. First, when Frodo wore the ring at the seat of Amon Hen, he almost had a showdown with Sauron right then and there. When he removed the ring the description is of a shadow passing over, missing Amon Hen and continuing westward. However, when he makes up his mind to continue on alone he puts the ring back on without drawing again the attention of they Eye. I haven't yet figured out when the ring draws him and when it doesn't. After all, Sam puts on the ring in Cirith Ungol, on the very borders of Mordor.

Another thing that jumped out at me was the wisdom of Master Samwise. I think that everyone will agree that Sam is the true hero of this book. After all, Frodo only had to put up with the ring. Sam had to put up with Frodo!

Anyway, everyone's sitting around the fire wondering what Frodo's going to choose, and it's so obvious to Sam. Some might argue that this is because Sam is so close to Frodo, but I don't think that's the case, yet. Before the journey, Sam was only a servant - the gardener. Maybe a trusted servant, but certainly not the confidant he becomes. I point to the final birthday party as evidence - Merry, Pippen and Fatty are there, but not Sam. I think that the Professor is giving us an insight to his real thoughts concerning "high-" and "low-" born people. Namely, don't discount the opinion/experience/thoughts of someone just because they don't come from good breeding.

Finally, I thought that the tempting of Boromir is another scene that translated well onto the screen. My only disappointment was when Frodo disppeared at the end, and seemed to vanish from Boromir's grasp at the same time. Either way, Sean Bean acted it very well. (I have, by the way, recanted on the tempting of Galadrial scene - I watched it again last week when it was on UPN (on my birthday, thank you very much), and was most disappointed..)
Aldarion Elf-Friend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 11:37 AM   #6
drigel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
drigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: commonplace city
Posts: 518
drigel has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Then as a flash from some other point of power there came to his mind another thought: Take it off! Take it off! Fool, take it off! Take off the Ring! The two powers strove in him.
Was this other power Frodo's internal voice or something else? I always thought that this was the point where Gandalf came back to ME. In my mind, here was the reason for Gandalfs return - this exact point in Frodo's dire need for help. The rest of G's deeds were worthy, but maybe this particular instance was the clincher in the decision to send him back..?..?
drigel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 11:39 AM   #7
Firefoot
Illusionary Holbytla
 
Firefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
Quote:
Anyway, everyone's sitting around the fire wondering what Frodo's going to choose, and it's so obvious to Sam. Some might argue that this is because Sam is so close to Frodo, but I don't think that's the case, yet.
Which is exactly what I am going to argue. I like your points, but I do think it is largely because Sam is so close to Frodo, and also because Sam is so observant of other people's characters. He doesn't talk a lot, but he takes everything in and he really figures people out. He is particularly protective of Frodo and has known him for a long time, so this characteristic of understanding people is very pronounced in his closeness to Frodo. Also, Frodo says to himself, "But surely they will understand. Sam will." Frodo knows Sam nearly as well as Sam knows Frodo, and he knows that Sam understands him. Sam is a very smart character with a lot of common sense - he just tends not to show it so much in the company of all these 'high' and 'fine' folk.

Something that just occurred to me while reading what other people have had to say about the visions Frodo had on Amon Hen. Perhaps this is why Aragorn desired to go there so much, as he said in the previous chapter:
Quote:
"Do you not know, Borormir, or do you choose to forget the North Stiar, and the high seat upon Amon Hen, that were made in the days of the great kings? I at least have a mind ot stand in that high place again, before I decide my further course. There, maybe, we shall see some sign that will guide us."
It would appear that these 'magical' qualities of the high seat of Amon Hen were known, at least in Rivendell and possibly Minas Tirith. Aragorn also mentions the seat was "made in the days of the great kings," so I would tend to think that either the Númenoreans or possibly some of the very early kings (i.e. Elendil, Isildur, Anarion) "imparted some special quality to the location" (as Esty so aptly put it).
Firefoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 12:08 PM   #8
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Esty
I wonder, is it the location that has ‘magical’ properties, enabling anyone who comes there to see? ... Does the Ring have something to do with Frodo’s expanded sight?
Yes. The mountains remind me of palantirs and mirrors; you can either relax and look, or you can search, bending it to your will. I think searching is much harder and more challenging.

Quote:
I wonder, is it the location that has ‘magical’ properties, enabling anyone who comes there to see?
Yes, Esty, I think so; but you have to know that you should "look". A failure to look will result in seeing nothing. Good sight is especially helpful for those who know to look.

Quote:
Does the Ring have something to do with Frodo’s expanded sight?
Again, yes. It's good to be on a high place if you want to 'see' far; but the one with the best eyesight will still see furthest. Just as Legolas would see the most of the fellowship, physically, so also those who are so gifted-- Aragorn and Frodo for instance-- will see well.

Why did Aragorn not see much that day, where Frodo saw much? It seems to me that Aragorn was in a mood to see what he wanted to know, but in too much of a hurry to wait patiently and strive for it; whereas Frodo came with few expectations, except curiosity and need.

I wonder whether losing Amon Hen and Amon Lhaw significantly eroded the wisdom of Gondor; it seems that one can be caught by Sauron either on the hill or in the palantir. I wonder if the hills could be used by more than one person in harmony.

Too bad Amon Lhaw and its "hearing" was never explored in the trology. I wonder what that was like. What might one hear?

Frodo might have had an advantage there, too; wasn't his hearing improved as well?

Tempting to try and hear the music of the Ainur.

(ps. Firefoot, good points on Frodo & Sam.)
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.

Last edited by mark12_30; 11-15-2004 at 01:24 PM.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 01:49 PM   #9
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
1420!

Amon Hen holds a definate importance in this chapter. We all know it is the "Hill of Seeing," and Frodo's vision is upon this. I think there is definate some sort of "magical quality" in this hill, as Firefoot has already pointed out, it is atleast important to Aragorn. Frodo's vision stretches from the Misty Mountains to Barad-dur, that is over half of Middle-earth. Obviously one sitting upon Amon Hen can't "literally" see from the Misty Mountains to Barad-dur, instead it comes in a "vision," and that could be the true magical quality of Amon Hen.

Makes me sort of wonder about Amon Lhaw, the hill of hearing, hmmm. Not much was said on Amon Lhaw, but just makes you wonder, what things could happen upon the "hill of hearing."

Edit: Also, we get some Tolkien repetition. FOTR Book I ends at Amon Sul (Hill of the wind), ends with Frodo putting on the ring and getting wounded. FOTR Book II, ends (well last chapter of the book) with Amon Hen. Again Frodo is in trouble and again he puts on the Ring. Is this repetition to forbode later on Frodo will put on the Ring when he is in trouble...hint hint, Mount Doom. There's even more connections, both chapters end with the "flight of Frodo." Frodo's flight to the Ford, then Frodo's flight away from the company, into Mordor. And both times he is accompanied by ONE person, first it's an Elf, 2nd time it's by his soon to be best friend who just so happens to admire elves. There are a lot of parallels between the end of Book I and Book II, but I still wonder, what Tolkien is trying to do with these parallels. Is it to show repetition, and the tendancy of Frodo, to "flee" and use the ring when he get's into trouble?

Last edited by Boromir88; 11-15-2004 at 03:05 PM.
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 03:36 PM   #10
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,529
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Reading this chapter, I also remembered that Aragorn talked about wanting to be on Amon Hen in the previous chapter - but he never gets there, does he? At least it is not told in this chapter - he is heading up the hill when Sam decides to go back and find Frodo at the boats. We lose Aragorn's point-of-view there, and it almost feels like a continuity mistake to me - he who wanted to stop there for the specific purpose of standing on the Hill of Seeing doesn't get to do so.
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 04:51 PM   #11
mark12_30
Stormdancer of Doom
 
mark12_30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars
Posts: 4,396
mark12_30 has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via AIM to mark12_30 Send a message via Yahoo to mark12_30
Actually, Esty, he does. When he sprints and leaves Sam behind, he gets to the top of the Hill; he goes to the Seat. But he quickly leaves frustrated. He is just too worried about Frodo, too flummoxed, to really get anything out of it.
__________________
...down to the water to see the elves dance and sing upon the midsummer's eve.
mark12_30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2004, 11:52 PM   #12
Estelyn Telcontar
Princess of Skwerlz
 
Estelyn Telcontar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: where the Sea is eastwards (WtR: 6060 miles)
Posts: 7,529
Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Estelyn Telcontar is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Ah yes, he does - but that's in the next chapter (next book, even)...
__________________
'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
Estelyn Telcontar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 03:43 AM   #13
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Just expanding on some of my earlier points (let me know if this sounds ridiculous)

Its almost as if the conflict with Boromir was an externalisation of Frodo's inner conflict at that point, & that Boromir personified Frodo's own weakness & desire. Its significant, then, that Frodo runs away from Boromir, almost as if he's running away from that part of himself, only to have the conflict 'errupt' again a few minutes later on Amon Hen. As I said, the War of the Ring is both an inner & an outer conflict. The Voice & the Eye are external forces (Gandalf & Sauron) but they are also inner forces as well (ie Frodo has 'Gandalf' & 'Sauron' within him). Yet what's really interesting is the culmination of the experience, when Frodo realises he is 'neither the voice nor the eye'. We seem to have the same conflict repeated, first with 'Frodo' vs 'Boromir', then with the external eye & voice, finally with the internal eye & voice.

Does this make any sense? I'm still struggling to formulate the idea, but it seems significant - Frodo (the false 'persona' he has adopted), the 'external' & 'internal' voices, seem to symbolise 'GOOD' while 'Boromir' & the 'external' & 'internal' eyes seem to symbolise 'EVIL', & there is this battle, between 'equal' forces which ends in a total impasse.

But then there comes a 'breakthrough', the real Frodo emerges, 'neither the Voice nor the Eye'. Its almost as if this 'new' Frodo is born at that precise moment, out of that conflict. Its like Jung's 'Transcendent Function', a new Self emerging out of a state of inner conflict.

Or am I just talking rubbish?
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 05:26 AM   #14
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
1420!

Brace yourselves, I even found more parallels between Amon Sul and Amon Hen. Both times, Aragorn led the Company (of hobbits, then the Fellowship) to these places, and both times Gandalf was absent from the Company. Both times Gandalf is "alive," and near the Company, he's just absent from it. And Both times these two "Amon's" are the near failure of the quest.

First time, Frodo is stabbed and if it wasn't for Aragorn very well could have been the end of the quest. Amon Hen, Boromir causes the "near failure" of the quest, but he also helps the quest to succeed (Good job Boro).

Frodo's wondering around alone, with the threat of orcs about, and with that Boromir gets his chance to claim the ring as his own. But, he was the deciding force that warned Frodo he had to get out of the Company. Of course, this is debatable, if Boromir hadn't of attacked Frodo, Frodo still very well could have left the Fellowship. But, I say Boromir is the "deciding factor" for Frodo, because even AFTER Boromir's attack Frodo finds it dificult to leave the Fellowship.
Quote:
But surely they will understand. Sam will.
Even after Boromir's attack Frodo's got to convince himself that everyone will understand why he's leaving, he's leaving because this burden is tearing the Fellowship apart. So in that regard Boromir helps the quest to succeed, I don't know if Frodo would have left the Fellowship if Boromir hadn't of gone mad, but that is debatable.

Another way I think Boromir helps the quest succeed (in this chapter) is the fact of getting Frodo out of there before the Orc attack. Again, Frodo is alone wondering around, with the threat of orcs about (As Aragorn states and Boromir reinforces), who knows if Boromir hadn't of shone up, we have Frodo in this wood alone, with no urge to "get out of the Fellowship," and to ultimately escape the Orc attack. Boromir gets Frodo to flee from the area, and ultimately from the Fellowship, just before the Orcs show up (or before they make their strike). And of course again, that idea is also debatable. Frodo still could have gotten away from the Orcs if Boromir wasn't around to give Frodo that "will" that he must leave the company.

Lastly, Davem, I understand your internal and external voices, it's sort of that "battle of good vs. evil" we all have in our hearts at times. Whether to do the "right" thing or the "wrong" thing. However, could you please elaborate more on how you feel Boromir as a personified Frodo? Yes, Boromir did try and sieze the Ring, but I think Boromir was just acting as a normal man would, or as most men would. If you would please, could you sort of explain more how Boromir is a personified Frodo, because right now at this stage, I don't see as if Frodo wants to sieze the Ring for himself, or want to cast down Sauron with it and have armies flock to his banner. I think that's a little too deep reading, but maybe if you elaborate more I will begin to understand .
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 05:27 AM   #15
HerenIstarion
Deadnight Chanter
 
HerenIstarion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,301
HerenIstarion is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Send a message via ICQ to HerenIstarion
Unfortunate lack of time being an obstacle to giving comments proper, I'm nevertheless willing to let you take a glance at the following thread by piosenniel, where she developes interesting idea as of the fellowship being a parallel, or model to 'original' fellowship - that of the Valar, including Melkor, the latter playing 'Boromir's part' in 'original' break up, with a significant difference, o'course - he repented, Melkor did not. Interesting speculation, I'd say, so see more at the thread itself: The Original Breaking of the Fellowship

cheers
__________________
Egroeg Ihkhsal

- Would you believe in the love at first sight?
- Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time!
HerenIstarion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 08:57 AM   #16
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by B88
Lastly, Davem, I understand your internal and external voices, it's sort of that "battle of good vs. evil" we all have in our hearts at times. Whether to do the "right" thing or the "wrong" thing. However, could you please elaborate more on how you feel Boromir as a personified Frodo? Yes, Boromir did try and sieze the Ring, but I think Boromir was just acting as a normal man would, or as most men would. If you would please, could you sort of explain more how Boromir is a personified Frodo, because right now at this stage, I don't see as if Frodo wants to sieze the Ring for himself, or want to cast down Sauron with it and have armies flock to his banner. I think that's a little too deep reading, but maybe if you elaborate more I will begin to understand
Ok, maybe I was pushing it a bit too far. My point though was just that at that point for Frodo Boromir seems to fulfil the role of all the fears & desires that he is attempting to fight against. He takes on the role of Frodo's 'Shadow', the aspect(s) of himself that he has supressed, refused to acknowledge, & is attempting to overcome.

In other words, Boromir is both himself, son of the Steward of Gondor, a man fighting his own inner battle with the Ring, and for Frodo, a symbol of his own dark side. What comes through for me in this chapter is that the battle is being fought by so many of the characters on an outer & an inner field. As so many critics say, LotR is a battle between Good & Evil, between absolute BLACK & absolute WHITE with no 'grey areas', but its fought between the Good & the Evil, the Black & White within the individual as much as by Good individuals & Bad individuals.

So, for Frodo its as if that 'Evil/Black' side of himself has taken on a physical form & his internal 'battle' has become an external one.

Not so much that Boromir is Frodo, but that he symbolises that aspect of Frodo which up to that point he has tried to keep repressed. Frodo may not have realised he has the kind of desires you're attributing to Boromir, but I can't help suspecting they are already there, deep down.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 10:22 AM   #17
Aldarion Elf-Friend
Animated Skeleton
 
Aldarion Elf-Friend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Playing in Peoria
Posts: 35
Aldarion Elf-Friend has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldarion
Some might argue that this is because Sam is so close to Frodo, but I don't think that's the case, yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefoot
Which is exactly what I am going to argue.... He (Sam) is particularly protective of Frodo and has known him for a long time, so this characteristic of understanding people is very pronounced in his closeness to Frodo. Also, Frodo says to himself, "But surely they will understand. Sam will." Frodo knows Sam nearly as well as Sam knows Frodo, and he knows that Sam understands him. Sam is a very smart character with a lot of common sense - he just tends not to show it so much in the company of all these 'high' and 'fine' folk.
Sorry to steer the conversation in a different direction, I think I'm going to contend for my position a little more

I re-read this chapter again last night, and I think that the interaction between Frodo and Sam is still characterized between a master and a trusted servant. In many ways, Sam never really grows beyond this in the whole series, at least not in his speech and subservient attitude. I point to his brief time as ring-bearer in Cirith Ungol. He doesn't get far before he decides his place is by his Master's side. Sam certainly knows his master well - has learned over the last several weeks - and takes his responsibilities seriously.

Meanwhile, Frodo's treatment of Sam is still of a trusted servant - one that he is coming to love as a brother. While I don't think that Sam ever gets over the rolls that they played in the Shire, by this time Frodo is beginning to.

I wonder if this point of view is so contested here because in contemporary culture we find the idea of a master/servant relationship somewhat repulsive.

Bado go Eru, Aldarion
Aldarion Elf-Friend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 02:07 PM   #18
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
1420!

I get it now Davem, I think you're onto something in saying the external vs. internal "voices and eyes" of Frodo here. I think in every person rests a battle of "good and evil," or "good conscious and bad conscious." Boromir, atleast in this chapter, is a representation of Frodo's "evil desires," so in a way he does represent the personified evil's of Frodo. Also,

Quote:
Originally posted by Davem:
Frodo may not have realised he has the kind of desires you're attributing to Boromir, but I can't help suspecting they are already there, deep down.
I think all we have to look at is as early on as in the Shire. Frodo can't bring himself throwing it into the fire. So, already, IN THE SHIRE, he can't bring himself to throwing it away, how is he going to do it when he gets to Mordor, sort of makes you wonder.
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 02:40 PM   #19
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,038
Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
White-Hand Some hesitation

Much as these thoughts are intriguing, I'm going to weigh in here on the negative side. If Boromir respresent anything in this "not an allegory", he represents the easy way in which the Ring can appeal to human desires.

Quote:
Against delay. Against the way that seems easiest.
In terms of the story, I think readers should be thankful that Boromir does not know Frodo as well as Sam does. Sam understands Frodo's hesitation or fear of doing what he knows he must. Boromir does not. Boromir believes Frodo does not know what to do.

And so Boromir argues his old case of the Northern warrior.

Quote:
We shall fall in battle valiantly.
Boromir's is the way of arrogance and self-assurance that men can know absolutely what is the right thing to do. The characters who are arrayed on the side of "the good", Aragorn, Gandalf, Frodo, are known very much for their lack of complete confidence, for their hesitation, for their willingness for reflect upon their ways, for their fear that they might not do the right thing.

Boromir remains the voice of the arrogance of the race of man

Quote:
It is by our own folly that the Enemy will defeat us," cried Boromir. "How it angers me! Fool! Obstinate fool! Running willfully to death and ruining our cause. If any mortals have claim to the Ring, it is the men of Numenor, and not Halflings. It is not yours save by unhappy chance. It might have been mine.Give it to me!"
It is, however, absolutely essential for readers to have this scene and for that reason I think Boromir is pivotal to the story. Tolkien shows his readers what the effect of the Ring is, not on one of the great elves or wizards, but on the sorry race of mankind, especially in the denigration of the hobbits. I think it is more important to Tolkien's theme to understand what he means by the seductive powers of evil than to argue a Manichean split, which presumbably for him was herisy.

What I don't really understand--and I think someone else on this thread has already mentioned this point--is why Frodo puts the ring backon. Assuredly it is so he can pass by the other members of the Fellowship without being seen, but it appears almost too easy and unexplored a decision. It is ominous to me.
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 03:09 PM   #20
Firefoot
Illusionary Holbytla
 
Firefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
Aldarion -

I'm not arguing the master/servant relationship between Frodo and Sam (It's certainly there, and I don't have any problems with it); I'm just saying there is more to it than that. I think we might be on the same side of this issue, as I don't really disagree with anything you've said. You pointed out that you didn't think that Sam's understanding of Frodo was because of their closesness (or at least, that is what I think you are arguing with me), so why is it that you think Sam was able to figure out Frodo's intent?
Firefoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 04:24 PM   #21
the phantom
Beloved Shadow
 
the phantom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: The Stadium
Posts: 6,121
the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via MSN to the phantom
Eye poor Boro, so misunderstood

Quote:
So, already, IN THE SHIRE, he can't bring himself to throwing it away, how is he going to do it when he gets to Mordor, sort of makes you wonder.
This is something I always try to point out. In our discussion a couple of chapters ago I said this about Boro's desire for the Ring-
Quote:
I'm not sure I agree that his desire was "irrational".

This is irrational-> expecting a hobbit to safely enter a heavily guarded land, travel for miles and miles without getting caught, and destroy a ring he could not willingly throw into his little fire at home.

To Boromir this idea seems much more irrational than attempting to use the Ring.
Sometime in the past year (can't remember when) I came to the realization that I was Boromir. In other words, had I been inserted into Lord of the Rings as every character, the things I would have done and said as Boromir would have deviated less from the original character than if I were inserted for Frodo, Elrond, or anyone else.

So it is now my sacred duty to defend Boromir's words and actions.

This next part might swing off-topic a bit, but bear with me- for I am fulfilling my sacred duty.
Quote:
Boromir remains the voice of the arrogance of the race of man
When I look up "arrogant" I see this-
having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance out of overbearing pride
proceeding from undue claims or self-importance
giving one's self an undue degree of importance
Consistently thinking you are right or that others are wrong is not necessarily arrogance. Notice the words "unwarranted" and "undue" in the definition.

Here's a little example-> Imagine that you are the best wine-taster in the world and that you have just taken a sip of a wine that you recognize immediately as a Montelena Cabernet 1978. Several other wine tasters say "I do believe this is a 1988 Rayas Chateauneuf Du Pape".

You say "You're wrong and I'm right" and when the answer is revealed you are, indeed, correct.

Were you arrogant? No, you were right and you knew it.

I am currently working on a group research project at school and I refused to do our project a certain way, even though every person in my group voted against me. The way I wanted to do it is better and they just didn't know enough to understand why.

But I put my foot down and they finally gave in (after calling me "selfish", "arrogant", and all sorts of other things). But now that the project is nearly complete they have all said "I'm sorry, you were right, and I'm glad we did it your way".

Was I being arrogant? No, I was right and I knew it.

You see, many people misunderstand characters such as Boromir because they don't think the same. I think it's possible that Tolkien himself didn't completely understand Boromir, he just knew that some people acted like him. This means that Boromir's words and actions would be written, for the most part, correctly but his inner motivations and thoughts would be guesses.

(Anyone who has tried to write a character different from themselves should definitely understand this dilemma.)

Anywho... everything that is logical suggests that the quest to destroy the Ring was crazy, where as using the Ring- who had ever actually tried to use the Ring against Sauron? No one. There was no precedent set for believing that using the Ring's power would for sure corrupt an individual. There was no Ring Manual that said "If you attempt to use the Ring's power the Ring will make you turn to evil".

What Elrond and Gandalf said was not as provable or logical as this-> if you walk into Mordor with a homing beacon you're going to get caught.

So, as you can see, there's a rational reason not to do it the way they did, and the reason not to do it Boromir's way was not gospel-truth at all.

I've gone on this tirade just to say this- Boromir's actions can be explained without defining him as arrogant or corrupted. I'm sitting in a computer lab right now completely free from the Ring's influence, and yet I tell you that I would have tried to take the Ring from Frodo like Boromir did.
Quote:
is why Frodo puts the ring backon. Assuredly it is so he can pass by the other members of the Fellowship without being seen, but it appears almost too easy and unexplored a decision. It is ominous to me.
Hmm... I've never even thought about it, but you know... it is a bit weird. I mean, right after being pinned down (almost, anyway) by Sauron and saving himself by taking off the Ring, you'd think he'd be scared to put it on again. Unless... he knew that Sauron located him so easily only because he was on a magic hill. Ya know... kind of like looking into a palantir when Sauron's got one too.

(whew- this was a long post- a pat on the back to anyone who read the whole thing- thanks for putting up with me)
__________________
the phantom has posted.
This thread is now important.
the phantom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 05:50 PM   #22
Boromir88
Laconic Loreman
 
Boromir88's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,065
Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.Boromir88 is a guest of Galadriel in Lothlórien.
Send a message via AIM to Boromir88 Send a message via MSN to Boromir88
1420!

Interesting thoughts phantom. I took that personality test here on the downs and was most like Boromir. Interestingly enough the one that I was "next closest to" was Sam. Sam is definately thought of as the most loyal companion to the Fellowship, and is Frodo's best friend, in most regards he is almost exactly opposite as Sam. So, why then would I be most like Boromir but also close to Sam. Well here's some traits I see that Sam and Boromir hold.

They both don't like running away from a fight. Sam is the more protective one, and would lay his life on the line for Frodo, Boromir will lay his life on the line for Gondor. They are both loyal. Sam to Frodo, Boromir to Denethor. Also, was Boromir not a loyal member of the Fellowship? Yes, he went crazy on Frodo, but did he also not say we men of Minas Tirith do not abandon friends in need? So, despite all the arguments Boromir still considered these people his "friends," and travelling all these long miles together I'm sure they came pretty close to one another.
The Ring incident, as I go back to an earlier point, I don't think Boromir was in control of what he was doing. There's this battle, within Boromir, even down to his last moments of "sanedom." Once he goes crazy, he doesn't know what he has done, "What have I said? What have I done?" He literally "wipes the tears from his eyes," so that right there I think should show Boromir is good of heart, and he wasn't in control of his actions during this brief lapse of madness.

Good points about "arrogancy." I see Boromir has this "swagger" about him, he's got his "pride." But it's good pride, it's not pompous or arrogant. He's a very patriotic person, and I think all his bragging of Minas Tirith isn't arrogant, it's his own patriotic pride.

As an example, its like me saying the United States is the greatest place in the world to live. Now, maybe somebody from France, Germany, England, Australia....etc would surely disagree with me. But, I don't find this as arrogant? I find this as pride in one's country, I won't go into a big debate about how free we are, and all the great things, I think you get the connection. There is a difference between being patriotic and being arrogant. I think me saying the US is the best nation in the world, is no more arrogant then Boromir bragging non-stop about the greatness of the men of his country.
Boromir88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 06:43 PM   #23
Encaitare
Bittersweet Symphony
 
Encaitare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: On the jolly starship Enterprise
Posts: 2,031
Encaitare is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
I just found this line interesting:

Quote:
"It is by our own folly that the Enemy will defeat us."
Boromir says this to Frodo when he refuses to give him the Ring. Boromir is under the Ring's influence, but it surely just reveals the doubts he has had all along. He still cannot accept that the only hope is to destroy that which he would seek to take for his own.

However, Boromir is partly right. If they had demonstrated "folly" and decided to try and use the Ring against Sauron, Sauron might have fallen, but could have risen once more while the world of Men destroyed itself fighting over who would keep the Ring. Frodo himself was nearly defeated; he eventually gave in to the Ring. Now, he had gone through so much torment that it's not really fair to call this act "folly," but the world could have been defeated had Gollum not done his part in finishing the job.
Encaitare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 07:53 PM   #24
Lhunardawen
Hauntress of the Havens
 
Lhunardawen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: IN it, but not OF it
Posts: 2,618
Lhunardawen has been trapped in the Barrow!
Send a message via MSN to Lhunardawen
Silmaril

I just had this crazy thought...
Amon Hen + Amon Lhaw = Taniquetil + Manwë + Varda

Anyway, to get on...Has anyone noticed how much Boromir contradicted himself while he was under the power of the Ring, so to speak? He said:
Quote:
But each to his own kind. True-hearted Men, they will not be corrupted...We do not desire the power of wizard-lords, only strength to defend ourselves, strength in a just cause.
And then he says, in the same statement:
Quote:
The Ring would give me power of Command. How I would drive the hosts of Mordor, and all men would flock to my banner!
Sure, Boromir, you need the strength. But you were not able to hide your desire for power; despite the noble cause, you thirst for power all the same. (Sorry, Boromir... )

Now for Aragorn: he was well aware of the task at hand and the need for Frodo to decide quickly. But he understood Frodo's need to "decide" (actually, some way to overcome his fear), and looked at him with kindly pity, giving him more time. Swoon!

I have been thinking...could it be that Frodo in some way expected someone to come after him, giving him the final nudge he needed? This could have been the reason he chose to walk away. He knew what to do; he was just afraid. Maybe he was trying to "tempt" anyone to come after him, to show him that indeed, the Ring's evil has begun to work even in the Company. Silly, I know.
Lhunardawen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 09:21 PM   #25
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
Ring Ah, Boromir again ...

But of course. As Bêthberry has said, he is a pivotal character. And this, to a large extent, is his Chapter. It is where all that we have seen him do and heard him say, ever since he was first introduced to us at the Council of Elrond, comes to fruition. I have to say that, in my view, davem, Bêthberry and the phantom have all made valid points concerning Boromir, even though they may appear to be slightly at odds. But let me attempt to reconcile them.

Firstly, I would like to comment on the manner in which Tolkien portrays the dialogue between Boromir and Frodo. It is perfectly done and utterly credible. First Boromir offers compassion, expressing concern over Frodo's safety and a desire to help Frodo with his burden. Frodo at first responds positively to his words. However, it becomes clear to Boromir that compassion and comforting words alone will not assist him in achieving his purpose. And so he goes on to set out his argument, logically and rationally. He seeks to persuade Frodo of his cause, and his words are very persuasive. And, as the phantom says, Boromir's approach is entirely rational (I will come back to this later). Frodo continues to participate in the conversation, trying to explain to Boromir the flaw in his approach. But Boromir gets carried away in his argument. Frodo participates less in the dialogue as he begins to see that his words are of no effect. Gradually, he begins to fear Boromir, and backs away from him. Finally, having worked himself up with his own words (to the extent that his hands are "trembling with suppressed excitement") and in frustration at Frodo's stubborn resistance to his argument, Boromir "snaps" and violence takes hold of him.

Marvellous! An atmosphere of foreboding hangs over the entire encounter, commencing as it does with Frodo feeling “unfriendly eyes” upon him, and the tension is built up wonderfully throughout the conversation from its almost placid beginning to its climax, where Boromir leaps at Frodo, undoubtedly with the intention of seizing the Ring by force. But it is also portrayed with complete credibility. The gradual escalation (on Boromir's part) is precisely how one would imagine the encounter to go. And even though Boromir starts the conversation with friendly and reassuring words, his climactic fury is utterly credible when it comes.


Quote:
Come back! A madness took me, but it has passed.
On reading these words again, I am intrigued by them. They could be interpreted in one of two ways. Either the “madness” is the Ring’s influence and it no longer has any hold over him, or it is the fury which drove him to attempt to seize the Ring by force. I tend towards the latter interpretation, in which case it is quite possible, as Estelyn suggests, that he still desires it. It seems to me that we will have wait until the next Chapter for true repentance on Boromir’s part.

But it is the logical and persuasive nature of Boromir's argument that is key for me in this Chapter. We know something of the nature of Elrond, Gandalf and Galadriel (particularly if Elrond and Gandalf are "old friends" from having previously read The Hobbit) and so we trust their wisdom and judgment. But we, as readers, are in somewhat of a privileged position in that respect. Boromir is not. Were we to be actors in the scene, rather than readers (knowing all that we do concerning Gandalf, Frodo et al), would we not respond similarly to Boromir? Like the phantom, I think that I would. It certainly would seem like folly to walk into Sauron's backyard with the Ring with the intention of destroying it. Without the knowledge that we have been privy to, Boromir's approach would seem the more logical to me.

But Bêthberry is right too. Although he is in a less privileged position than us, Boromir was nevertheless present at the Council of Elrond when the dangers of using the Ring against Sauron were explained. He is aware that all who are considered wise are in agreement that the Ring should be destroyed. Yet he thinks that he knows better. And, in this regard, he is definitely arrogant and self-confident to the point of over-confidence. But he is a Man, and, as Bêthberry says,


Quote:
Tolkien shows his readers what the effect of the Ring is, not on one of the great elves or wizards, but on the sorry race of mankind ...
And therefore, as humans ourselves, Tolkien is reflecting our own natures back at us. Even without the active participation of the Ring, Boromir's plan is appealing. Add to that the fact that the Ring is itself actively working on his mind, and it becomes very difficult for me to say in all honesty, that, in Boromir's position, I would not have acted as he did.

This, I think, is reflected in Frodo's approach too and, in this regard, I agree with davem that Boromir represents an aspect of Frodo's inner conflict. Frodo knows deep down what he must do. This is clear from his own words, as well as Sam’s subsequent reflections. Frodo acknowledges that Boromir‘s counsel would seem like wisdom "were it not for the warning of my heart". But he nevertheless needs time alone to make his decision. There is a part of Frodo that wants someone to take this terrible burden away from him. But, as his words to Boromir suggest, that would be taking the easy way out:


Quote:
Against the way that seems easier.
To my mind, these words are of critical importance. Frodo’s approach here represents a crystallisation of the basic truth underlying the entire Quest. Yes, it may well seem the easier way to use the Ring against its Master. But it is not the right way. And this is perhaps the message which resonates most strongly with me of all the themes in the book. How many times are we faced with situations in our daily lives where the option which seems the easiest is not the right one? How many times do our leaders and politicians tell us that the straightforward "short term" solution is best, when deep down we know that it is not? And how many times have we, like Boromir (and like Frodo very easily could have), given in and taken the line of least resistance? I cannot deny that I have, and that I will probably do so again. But it is at least an important step to recognise that the easier path is not always the correct one. There is an important message in Boromir's folly. And Boromir himself realises it too late.

It is also illuminating, in this regard, to consider the reactions of the other members of the Fellowship. Legolas and Gimli would both counsel Minas Tirith, as would Merry and Pippin. So, while they would not go to the lengths of Boromir in forcing their view on Frodo (and do not desire the Ring in the same way that he does), it is clear that they would nevertheless endeavour to persuade him of this course. They may accept that the Ring must be destroyed, but they would nevertheless counsel the "easier" option (west rather than east) and thereby delay the moment when the Ring became irreversibly bound for Mordor. Aragorn is unsure as to the correct path, although he is content to abide by Frodo's choice. It is only the quiet, instinctive wisdom of Sam that accepts without question that the hardest course is the one which must be taken. For all the wise words of Gandalf and Elrond and Galadriel, it is in Sam's words here, and in Frodo's (ultimate) choice, that this basic truth is most convincingly conveyed.

As an aside here, I do find Merry and Pippin's resolve to stick with Frodo immensely touching. It is reminiscent of their determination to go with him back in Crickhollow, but even more poignant now that they have a much greater appreciation of the danger and terror that this entails. Sam, of course, has taken an oath to stick by his Master and that is no doubt of great importance to him. But, to my mind, it is not, and never was, the main reason for his loyalty to Frodo. There is a bond of trust and friendship between them, perhaps stronger at this point on Sam's part (although that will change as their story develops), which transcends their "Master and Servant" relationship (or at least goes beyond our modern understanding of this kind of relationship - it was based on a relationship which is rare, and perhaps no longer exists, today). It is significant, in this regard, that Sam displays such an informed insight into Frodo's mind.

And so, finally, to Amon Hen. Clearly, Frodo has enhanced sight when he sits on the Seat of Seeing wearing the Ring. The world seems to have shrunk to his eyes, and so he is able to see much farther and with much greater clarity. It seems that what he sees is, partially at least, a vision of what will come since, although war was building, it had not by this stage, I think, escalated to the extent that Frodo witnesses. Whether his enhanced sight is brought on by the power of the Chair or the power of the Ring is difficult to say. I will sit on the fence and say that it is a combination of both. It is, after all, a Seat of Seeing, so it cannot be mere coincidence that it is Frodo‘s vision that is enhanced. In any event, it seems to me clear that this is not a safe place wear the Ring. As well as being the Seat of Seeing, it appears also to be the Seat of "Being Seen". The power of the Seat allows Frodo, wearing the Ring, to "see" Sauron in his tower, but it also alerts Sauron to Frodo’s “presence”. This, I think, is why little is made of Frodo later donning the Ring to slip past his companions. It is, again, the combination of the Ring and the Seat that allows Sauron almost to find him.

It is indeed Gandalf that struggles with Sauron and tells Frodo to take off the Ring. Later, in The White Rider, he speaks of this to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli:


Quote:
Very nearly it was revealed to the Enemy, but it escaped. I had some part in that: for I sat in a high place, and I strove with the Dark Tower; and the Shadow passed. Then I was weary, very weary; and I walked long in dark thought.
And, in any event, who else is prone to calling Hobbits fools.

But the first time reader will not be aware of Gandalf's intervention. He or she will not even be aware that Gandalf is alive (although there have been hints). So, as far as he or she is concerned, the words are Frodo's - to himself, and it is Frodo's strength of will that allows him to remove the Ring. But, given that Gandalf is involved, the question arises as to whether Frodo would have been able to remove it without his intervention. Tolkien tells us that Frodo was "free to choose", but would he have had that freedom of choice without Gandalf's aid? Certainly, as with Frodo's difficulty in throwing the Ring into the fire at Bag End, it does not, as Boromir88 suggests, bode well for the outcome of the Quest ...

Apologies as always for the length.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!

Last edited by The Saucepan Man; 11-16-2004 at 09:28 PM.
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 09:33 PM   #26
Encaitare
Bittersweet Symphony
 
Encaitare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: On the jolly starship Enterprise
Posts: 2,031
Encaitare is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Lhunardawen, you made some very good points in your last post.

Quote:
I just had this crazy thought...
Amon Hen + Amon Lhaw = Taniquetil + Manwë + Varda
I'm curious about this; do you think maybe you could expand on it?

Quote:
I have been thinking...could it be that Frodo in some way expected someone to come after him, giving him the final nudge he needed? This could have been the reason he chose to walk away. He knew what to do; he was just afraid. Maybe he was trying to "tempt" anyone to come after him, to show him that indeed, the Ring's evil has begun to work even in the Company. Silly, I know.
I don't think it's silly, but quite possible. The thought that he might be followed must have at least entered his mind, even though Aragorn assured him that he would be alone. I don't think he was trying to tempt anyone, but he might have wondered if any of his companions would be tempted nonetheless.

Last edited by Encaitare; 11-16-2004 at 09:59 PM. Reason: changed last paragraph a bit after reading the phantom's post after mine
Encaitare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2004, 09:47 PM   #27
the phantom
Beloved Shadow
 
the phantom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: The Stadium
Posts: 6,121
the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
Send a message via MSN to the phantom
Eye

Quote:
could it be that Frodo in some way expected someone to come after him, giving him the final nudge he needed? This could have been the reason he chose to walk away. He knew what to do; he was just afraid. Maybe he was trying to "tempt" anyone to come after him, to show him that indeed, the Ring's evil has begun to work even in the Company. Silly, I know.
Oh, I don't know. I don't think it's the type of thing Frodo would do, but it is certainly something that I would think of.

If I was asked to bear the Ring and I suspected that other people wanted it for themselves, it is very likely that I would do a few things specifically to tempt my companions (like an experiment).

But Frodo doesn't seem like that kind of hobbit.
Quote:
On reading these words again, I am intrigued by them. They could be interpreted in one of two ways. Either the “madness” is the Ring’s influence and it no longer has any hold over him, or it is the fury which drove him to attempt to seize the Ring by force. I tend towards the latter interpretation, in which case it is quite possible, as Estelyn suggests, that he still desires it.
Excellent observation, and well put. I, too, agree with the second interpretation.
__________________
the phantom has posted.
This thread is now important.
the phantom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 08:28 AM   #28
Bêthberry
Cryptic Aura
 
Bêthberry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 6,038
Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bêthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Ring

Sauce, as always, a superb bit of work. Boromir carries so much of the weight of the story, as a character. As you point out, the dialogue with Frodo is superbly done. I always read that and cringe, greatly saddened, over its terrible truth: how often do people begin with politeness and compassion and courtesy and fall into hectoring and bullying if not outright violence as a resort when they don't get their own way? Countries as well as people, too. That "Come, come my friend" followed closely by ""For I am too strong for you halfling" is as creepy to me as anything Grima says. Tolkien knew what he was about here.

I would agree with you and Estelyn that this is not Borormir's true repentance. After the curse upon not just Frodo but "all halflings" and "Miserable trickster", it is too easy and quick a change to trust fully "A madness took me, but it has passed." Besides, a character as important as Boromir needs a more fully worked out repentence, which the next chapter provides, if justice is to be done to his role in the story.

Who else other than Gandalf calls hobbits fools, though? Why, Boromir: "Fool, obstinate fool!"
__________________
I’ll sing his roots off. I’ll sing a wind up and blow leaf and branch away.
Bêthberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 08:32 AM   #29
drigel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
drigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: commonplace city
Posts: 518
drigel has just left Hobbiton.
corrupt and arrogant...

Another observation from me about Boromir, but I promise that it will be quick.

All this psychological analysis is interesting, but I sill hold the position that B represents nothing more than your typical heir to the Steward of Gondor.. I get the feeling reading these threads that your typical human in ME was far more suspect in defending him or herself from corruption and arrogance than any other race. I am going to play devils advocate - and I do mean play, because I do cherish those evles. Heres a comparison to ponder:

Who was more arrogant and corrupt, Boromir or Celebrimbor? The elves of Eregion, while paying the ultimate price by having their land and thier civilization overrun (again), helped to start this mess. When its all played out, the problem that they facilitated in creating then becomes the responsibility of all races to fix.

Last edited by drigel; 11-17-2004 at 02:07 PM.
drigel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 10:51 AM   #30
Fordim Hedgethistle
Gibbering Gibbet
 
Fordim Hedgethistle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Beyond cloud nine
Posts: 1,842
Fordim Hedgethistle is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Well goodness knows I like Boromir, but I think that I shall raise another matter and other characters entirely…

To this point in the book, it’s been the story of the Fellowship: its founding in the Shire, its additions and growth in Bree and Rivendell, its trials and losses in Moria and Lorien, and now its breaking. It is at this point, then, that we begin to move away from a company of heroes and toward an examination of individual models of heroism.

The three principle heroes of the book come to the fore in some wonderful ways here. Aragorn, Frodo and Sam all reveal the beginnings of the heroic ideals that will carry them through the rest of their journeys and see to the success of the Quest.

At the beginning of the chapter, Aragorn says to Frodo:

Quote:
‘I am not Gandalf, and though I have tried to bear his part, I do not know what design or hope he had for this hour, if indeed he had any. Most likely it seems that if he were here now the choice would still wait on you. Such is your fate.’
Near the end of the chapter he says something quite similar about Frodo, to the company:

Quote:
‘I do not think that it is our part to drive him one way or the other. Nor do I think that we should succeed, if we tried. There are other powers at work far stronger.’
He may not be Gandalf, but he sure is beginning to sound like the Wizard. From the first chapter of the book, it has been Gandalf who has seen events in the way that Aragorn is just beginning to. Remember his description of Bilbo’s recovery of the Ring: “There was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that might be an encouraging thought.” It makes sense to me that Aragorn should be echoing his teacher/mentor here, as Aragorn is beginning to become the hero he was born and meant to be. He is aware of the fact that there are “powers” at work in the world beyond the endeavour and strength and will of individuals, and that in the end these powers are what determine the outcome of history. In effect, he is learning the hard lesson of faith – faith in Frodo, faith in the supposedly lost wisdom of Gandalf, faith in “fate”.

This is where Aragorn differs mightily from Boromir (ack! I knew he would come up again! ). Boromir has lost his faith, if he ever had any, in those other powers. For Boromir, the only hope is in one’s own strength. He is incapable of letting go and trusting to providence – if there is to be victory, is to be gained by men (by him) through action and attack, not acceptance and denial. His father is a lot like him in this regard, with the result that son and father both give way to despair – for if the only route they see is individual action (martial/warrior heroism) then what hope is there against the forces of Mordor?

Davem has already quite brilliantly pointed to the manner of Frodo’s heroism as it manifests in this chapter. The moment that he is caught between the Eye and the Voice is a terrible trial for him, and his success is what will allow him to make it to the Cracks of Doom:

Quote:
Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant in which to do so. He took the Ring off his finger.
I think that this moment is as heroic a deed as any recorded in the book. The fact that he was able to remain free to choose, that he could “remain Frodo” and actually take off the Ring speaks volumes for the strength of spirit and will that he will need to carry him through his journey. To go back to Boromir (ack ack ack) – we’ve just seen how entirely corrupted a Man who never even held the Ring has become; and now we see Frodo, bearer of the Ring for years, assailed by Sauron himself, viewing the whole of Middle-earth in turmoil and war (mirroring Denethor’s visions of the Palantir) and he is able to resist. Wow.

The final, and my personal favourite heroic moment in this chapter comes from be beloved Sam Gamgee. It’s one of the moments that thrills me with emotion every time I read it:

Quote:
’So all my plan is spoilt!’ said Frodo. ‘It is no good trying to escape you. But I’m glad, Sam. I cannot tell you how glad. Come along! It is plain that we were meant to go together. We will go, and may the others find a safe road! Strider will look after them. I don’t suppose we shall see them again.’

‘Yet we may, Mr Frodo. We may,’ said Sam.
Glorious stuff, and the perfect end to Book Two. Here we can see Frodo also achieving a Gandalf/Aragorn like apprehension in his realisation that he and Sam were “meant to go together” but I find it more telling that he places his faith specifically in Aragorn. For Frodo, Aragorn has become an adequate substitute for Gandalf; Frodo feels confident that “Strider will look after them.” This is no small piece of praise!

But the thing I have to point out is Sam’s perfectly beautiful expression that there is hope. Despite where they are going, and what they are going to try and do, somehow, despite all the evidence and in defiance of all common sense, Sam clings to the hope that they might actually live through it and come to a happy day of reunion with their companions. Sam, I think, stands in the starkest contrast to that other member of the Fellowship whom I was not going to write about… (*resigned sigh*).

There’s an interesting pattern in all this:

Boromir has no hope whatsoever in the Quest; he thus gives in to the despair and temptation of the Ring.

Frodo also has no hope in the success of the Quest, but he is willing to endure it for the sake of the faith that he has in Strider and Gandalf; they thought it was a good idea, so he is going to do his best in a hopeless cause.

Like Frodo, Aragorn has faith that things are working toward some conclusion under the aegis of “fate” or unnamed “stronger powers.” He is willing to place his faith in those powers and hope for the best, even if he is not certain of the outcome. I really do see Frodo and Aragorn as a pair in this regard – they are continuing with their quests more for the sake of the faith they feel in others than in any faith they have that their quests will actually turn out well.

And at the furthest end of this ‘spectrum’ is Sam: with his unthinking, irrational hope he is as far from Boromir as one can get, and yet of them all, he is the most right, and has the clearest view. This is something which Aragorn himself points out in this chapter. When Sam explains that he thinks Frodo is going to go on alone to Mordor, Aragorn acknowledges:

Quote:
‘I believe you speak more wisely than any of us, Sam,’ said Aragorn. ‘And what shall we do, if you prove right?’
The answer to Aragorn’s question will turn out to be, beyond all hope and belief: rejoice at the success of the Quest!
__________________
Scribbling scrabbling.

Last edited by Fordim Hedgethistle; 11-17-2004 at 03:16 PM.
Fordim Hedgethistle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 01:55 PM   #31
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
I think Fordim has hit the nail on the head as regards Boromir. He places no faith in anything beyond himself, so he feels that he must take charge. Yes, his arguments appear logical, but this war is not 'logical' it is a war between 'powers & principalities'. Its not an ordinary war & cannot be fought with ordinary means. Boromir seems to both know this & refuse to accept the reality of it. He is using logic & rationality to justify using a magical weapon against a magical foe.

What he misses is that simple fact. Logic is out of place in a spiritual battle - which is always fought within the individual as well as in the external world. In other words, given the nature of the battle that's being fought, Boromir's 'logic' is illogical - it has no place. Frodo's response - 'It would seem like wisdom but for the warning in my heart' shows that Frodo has understood the true nature of the battle, & the place where it is really being fought. Boromir is using his 'head' not his 'heart' to rationalise the conflict & find its solution.

Yet, I see the same kind of conflict going on in Boromir in a way - he is attempting as much to convince himself as to convince Frodo - he even forgets for a time that Frodo is there. The Ring as 'catalyst' as I said in the last chapter. The difference is Boromir's head wins out over his heart, while Frodo's heart wins out over his head. In this sense I think we can see the 'inner' battle of both characters being played out in this confrontation - as much as Boromir represents Frodo's 'head', Frodo represents Boromir's 'heart'. They are both, in a sense, fighting against themselves. And so, Gandalf, the 'Voice', also represents the 'Frodo' side of the conflict, while Sauron, the 'Eye' represents the 'Boromir' side. The 'battle' reiterates in different forms, but it is always the battle between the 'heart' (or 'soul') & the 'head'.

Love & compassion & self sacrifice stand against logic, egotism & the conviction that the end justifies the means. But the heart 'knows' (having reasons that 'reason' knows nothing of) that the 'end' (whatever 'end') is a result of the means used.

Boromir's logic may stand up to scrutiny, but its wrong in the context of the battle that's being fought. In another kind of battle it might be right, but this battle is different.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2004, 07:03 PM   #32
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
Pipe

It seems to me that there are two distinct approaches towards Boromir in this discussion, as there have been in previous discussions. On the one hand, there are those who respond quite warmly to him as a character and praise him first and foremost for his good qualities, while recognising that he is also a flawed character. On the other hand, there are those who focus more intently on his flaws, while acknowledging his redeeming qualities. And it also seems to me that the basis for these two distinct approaches is the same: Boromir is a reflection of ourselves.

As I said before, we are all prone, I think, to be tempted into opting for the quick and easy option, the "short term" solution, that which appears superficially attractive. There are times when this might be a strength, as it would have been for Boromir in conventional battle when there is little time to deliberate and swift instinctive actions are required. And there are also times when the obvious solution may in fact be the best one. But Boromir's situation here shows us that this is not always the case and there are times when we must take the harder road to win the greater victory. Frodo knows this in his heart. And I think that Boromir does too, but (as davem says) he lets his head rule his heart - because it is an easier road to follow. Similarly, there are times when we take the easier option, even if we know in our heart that it is wrong to do so. We can recognise in Boromir's character this aspect of our own nature and this, I think, dictates our reaction towards him. We can respond to him as a very human character, with very human flaws, but we can also feel uncomfortable at what we see reflected in him. Which is the stronger reaction (and therefore which of the approaches outlined above we adopt) depends, I think, on the individual, but both are present in each approach.

Davem, I agree with much what you say, and it accords largely with my own view of Boromir. I do not, however, think that his approach is inappropriate only in the context of a spiritual struggle (although that is certainly the context in which it arises here). And I do not think that rationality alone is the problem. Viewed in the context of a spiritual battle and armed with full knowledge concerning the nature of the Ring, the approach counselled by the Wise can be seen as the most, indeed the only, rational solution. The real problem with Boromir's logic is that it seems superficially attractive, offering a "short term fix", but it does not addressing the underlying problem.

Is it too early, I wonder, to bring up the addicitive nature of the Ring? This does not, I accept, provide a comprehensive answer to the nature of the Ring's power. But, as I think we will see in its effect on Frodo and Smeagol, and also Sam, as they near and, ultimately, enter Mordor, its attraction is in the nature of an addicition. And it seems to me that we can see its nature in this respect in operation here. Boromir has seen the Ring only once, and he has never touched it, and yet he has become corrupted by it. And, as with an addicition, he finds it much easier to give into the temptation and seek it out, rather than to resist it. Frodo too is, to a degree, under the Ring's influence, and yet he recognises that he should not give into it but that he must instead seek to destroy it, however hard that may seem. He is able, for the moment at least, to "beat" the addicition.

Although I still wonder whether he would have been able to do so without Gandalf's intervention at the critical moment.

Apologies that this repeats some of the ideas aired in my earlier post, but I am trying to organise my thoughts and perhaps (hopefully) express them more clearly.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 03:30 AM   #33
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpM
Is it too early, I wonder, to bring up the addicitive nature of the Ring?
Or the 'addictive' personalities of those who come into contact with it?

You're right to pick me up on my points

Quote:
I do not, however, think that his approach is inappropriate only in the context of a spiritual struggle (although that is certainly the context in which it arises here). And I do not think that rationality alone is the problem.
I was rushed & formulating my thoughts as I wrote. My own feeling is that the battle is an inner one & the Ring is what brings it to the surface & forces it to be fought. The Ring may be a physical object in M-e but it exists also psychologically & symbolically in our world too. Having said that the 'Ring' - the 'Machine', the desire to dominate othr wills, to control & corerce, to re-make the world in your own image - also existed in other forms & also on a psychological level in M-e too.

Does this make sense? The Ring was simply the ultimate manifestation of something that always did (& always will) exist. The battle is, first, a moral, ethical & spiritual one. In this chapter Frodo argues against his 'inner' Boromir, Boromir against his 'inner' Frodo. In both of them the Eye battles the Voice, yet they each exist 'between' those two forces, able to choose which one they will ally themselves with. The Ring simply awakens this inner conflict which we all constantly fight (as SpM points out).

The real difference between this world & M-e is that in this world the Ring doesn't exist as a physical object, & that's the really disturbing thing for me.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 07:56 AM   #34
drigel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
drigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: commonplace city
Posts: 518
drigel has just left Hobbiton.
It is within

Quote:
Boromir has seen the Ring only once, and he has never touched it, and yet he has become corrupted by it. And, as with an addicition, he finds it much easier to give into the temptation and seek it out, rather than to resist it.
Is Boromir addicted to the ring, or is he addicted to his mission of bringing salvation to his country?
drigel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 08:07 AM   #35
davem
Illustrious Ulair
 
davem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drigel
Is Boromir addicted to the ring, or is he addicted to his mission of bringing salvation to his country?
Bringing salvation

I think that about sums him up. Boromir, saviour of Gondor, nay, of the world!

(Didn't Henry Thoreau say somthing along the lines of 'If I knew a man was coming to my house with the express intention of doing me good I should run for my life!')
davem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 08:27 AM   #36
drigel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
drigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: commonplace city
Posts: 518
drigel has just left Hobbiton.

Exactly. The B is a representation of your typical human, but to me its about the Hero model, and how that relates to the ring.
drigel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 08:28 AM   #37
Rimbaud
The Perilous Poet
 
Rimbaud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Heart of the matter
Posts: 1,096
Rimbaud has just left Hobbiton.
Quote:
Is Boromir addicted to the ring, or is he addicted to his mission of bringing salvation to his country?
This question has another level, I think. It seems that the Ring does not create the desire for itself within others; rather, and to be carelessly analogous, it is a 'mood-exacerbater' much like alocohol for instance, playing on a pre-existant mood, or in this case desire.

The main reason it holds less dominion over the Hobbits is their fundamental lack of megalomania; that weak desire for power and wealth that does reside within Frodo/Bilbo, is eventually that with which the Ring works.

So: the Ring, as it does not come into contact with Boromir, is rather lucky. For Boromir is desperately searching for it, although he would not realise this. The weapon, the solution, that which would realise his ambition to save his homeland - that is the chink through which the Ring wanders.

But the further question is: when? When did Boromir's respectable desire for his country's salvation, to use the word, twist into the more sordid want we encounter later? At what stage was the chink exploited?

I'm using this line of argument rather as a counter to the straight 'addiction' line, which I think underestimates the inherent similarities and indistinct boundaries between what we might perceive as natural and reasonable desires, for ourselves and others, and those desires one associates with the device itself.
__________________
And all the rest is literature

Last edited by Rimbaud; 11-18-2004 at 08:40 AM.
Rimbaud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 08:29 AM   #38
Rimbaud
The Perilous Poet
 
Rimbaud's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Heart of the matter
Posts: 1,096
Rimbaud has just left Hobbiton.
Heroes

Depends whether you mean Heroes capitalised, or the true ones, who are necessarily reluctant.
__________________
And all the rest is literature
Rimbaud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 08:37 AM   #39
drigel
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
drigel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: commonplace city
Posts: 518
drigel has just left Hobbiton.
Rim,

Hero in the traditional mythological sense was what I always thought the author was bringing out in B. Just my interpretation of course

I would agree with you on the addiction analogy. It seemed to me that this line of thinking a little askew in the 70's, when (at least in my circles) it was prevelent. Like addiction, the essense of the quest is about the struggle that is within us, but to me, thats where the comparison ends.
drigel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 08:43 AM   #40
The Saucepan Man
Corpus Cacophonous
 
The Saucepan Man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: A green and pleasant land
Posts: 8,467
The Saucepan Man has been trapped in the Barrow!
Pipe

I was using "addiction" in the sense of something which provokes an intense craving which is difficult to resist, and which can lead to a dangerous obsession. Addictive substances (caffeine, nicotine etc) provoke this craving by offering us something that we desire, namely stimulation of the pleasure receptors. The Ring also offers its "victims" something that they desire. In Boromir's case, it offers him the power to defend his land. We also see its influence in this regard later, with Sam, although he is able to resist it (for the reasons that you state). So, I basically agree with what you say, Rimbaud, although I do not think that it counters the "addiction line".

As I have said, however, "addiction" is only one aspect of the nature of the Ring's power.
__________________
Do you mind? I'm busy doing the fishstick. It's a very delicate state of mind!
The Saucepan Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:44 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.