Thread: Gay subtext?
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Old 01-06-2002, 02:36 PM   #73
Mister Underhill
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Tolkien

I tend to agree with Maril's analysis of Sam and Frodo's relationship before the quest. We Americans have little understanding of a faithful servant's fierce love for and protectiveness of his master, but you need only read a little of Robert Louis Stevenson, Shakespeare, or even Dickens to see evidence of it. I'd even venture to say that it is a fairly common motif of British literature for the Master to gain a new perspective on his loyal serving man when they're thrown together into a challenging situation.

I always got the impression that Frodo was a bit of a loner before the Quest, and although he was friendly with Sam, I don't imagine them heading down to the Green Dragon to quaff a few ales together (social distinction, I must agree).

As for their eventual closeness exceeding even that of combat buddies, I'd say it's a logical extension. Rather than being part of an army, Sam and Frodo were venturing into Mordor alone, just the two of them. Also, there's a spiritual element to their ordeal of carrying the Ring for which there are no real-life analogs (well -- depending on your belief system, I guess).

Is it significant that the only member of the Fellowship who didn't find someone to pair off with -- namely, Boromir -- was the only one who fell? There are certainly echoes of Ecclesiastes here: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands [Gollum? Manw? Eru?] is not quickly broken."
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