By Matthew Dickerson
Knowledgeable at the Hobbit and The Lord of the jewelry trilogy indicates how a Christian worldview and topics undergird Tolkien's vintage works
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Extra info for A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth
Later in the tale, the orc captors of Pippin and Merry also threaten torture. ” “If I had my way,” one of the orcs tells Pippin in the Common Speech, “you’d wish you were dead now. ” The reference to squeaking at this point may refer simply to crying out in pain, having nothing to do with revealing knowledge. But later, Grishnákh, the leader of the Lugburz party of orcs, speaks straightforwardly about torturing the hobbits in order to get information from them: “Grishnákh hissed, ‘Everything you have, and everything you know, will be got out of you in time: everything!
When his father Denethor chastises him for practicing gentleness (or wanting to appear gentle), telling him “gentleness may be repaid with death,” Faramir replies very simply, “So be it” (VI/iv). What a powerful statement! ) We even see this principle practiced by Frodo when Sméagol becomes his prisoner. Though earlier in the story Frodo had heard of the treachery of Gollum and had wished him dead, when he actually meets the pitiful creature he is much more merciful. Initially he has Sméagol tied up in the elven rope.
That, at least, is what the essay above makes clear. Tolkien was addressing the exact moral issue of this chapter. ” He goes on to lay out the very principle we see illustrated in the elves’ treatment of Sméagol, and later in Frodo’s treatment of him: they treat him with gentleness and mercy, even at personal risk or personal cost. Yet Tolkien also recognizes that beings of free will, even beings as good and wise as Gandalf, will sometimes fail morally. Gandalf passed the moral test of refusing the Ring, and refusing power, greatly though he felt the need for power.