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By definition


Apr 8 2008, 5:17pm

Views: 353
By definition [In reply to] Can't Post

a variation on a theme will include differences from the original instance of the theme. I suppose a person just has to decide when the differences are too great for the comparison to be a useful one. As I said in my previous post, I recognize that Elrond’s Council has different purposes from the debate that goes on at the end of the book, and these could include, as you point out, persuading Frodo, and possibly Boromir, that they should go on the quest. But I don’t see this as its only purpose.

I was locating the thematic similarities not in the operations of a formal council which Frodo attends but in the searching for options about what to do with the Ring (most of which are pointless) by various people – and I would include Frodo’s encounter with Boromir in this. For me, the thematic similarity resides in the idea of having to make a choice when faced with the limitations of knowledge and the frailty of human desires. In both cases, set against this presentation of options, a clear decision is made by Frodo (and Sam).

What ties the two together even further in my mind is the fact that in both cases Frodo is presented with "The Big Picture" in order to help him decide – the first time in the form of the history and discussion of the Ring and its effects on all the peoples of Middle-earth, and the second time in his vision of the actual war preparations throughout Middle-earth. Obviously, Frodo sitting on the Seat of Seeing is not part of a formal council, but it is part of a sequence that is similar to what happens in the Council chapter. The first time around, Frodo hears about Sauron’s activities; the second time, he actually sees how those reports are coming true.

I’m also inclined to juxtapose the two chapters because I think that is Tolkien’s characteristic tendency as well - to set characters or events side by side and to play with variations on a theme.

Subject User Time
Breaking of the Fellowship part 5 Milady Send a private message to Milady Apr 5 2008, 12:47am
    Ok, I'll try a few of these... Laerasëa Send a private message to Laerasëa Apr 5 2008, 4:03am
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 5 2008, 3:12pm
    I'm reminded of Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Apr 5 2008, 7:49pm
        This council, however, is incomplete. Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 5 2008, 8:11pm
            a variation on a theme, maybe Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Apr 6 2008, 1:47pm
                Contrasting variations, then. Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 7 2008, 1:02pm
                    By definition Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Apr 8 2008, 5:17pm
                        I agree. Curious Send a private message to Curious Apr 8 2008, 7:40pm
                        Nice point about the “Big Picture”. // N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Mar 22 2009, 9:03am
        That's interesting Milady Send a private message to Milady Apr 5 2008, 10:08pm
    Collapse sador Send a private message to sador Apr 5 2008, 9:58pm
    Panic in the Ranks Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Apr 6 2008, 11:58pm
    One thing FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Apr 7 2008, 4:51pm
    Well Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Apr 8 2008, 6:12pm


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