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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - Barron's Booknotes
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In The Hobbit the evils of possessiveness can be
easily seen. The dwarves are corrupted by their
desire for treasure, and their greed almost leads to
war with men and elves. But possessiveness can
also be the root of the desire to dominate others that
leads to the evil in The Lord of the Rings. Do you
know what it's like to have another person feel
possessive toward you? Such people can't seem to
allow you your own identity-your own free will-
and are unhappy if you aren't exactly what they
want you to be. Now imagine if someone felt that
way about the world, wanting to make everything
go his way and having the power to accomplish this.
He'd hate anything that had a will of its own and
would want to dominate it. He might try to enslave
all mankind. If he wasn't able to force nature to his
will, he might even attempt to destroy it. This is
exactly what Sauron tries to do in Middle-earth; he
reduces countryside to wasteland, enslaves others
through the lesser Rings of power, and attempts to
rule all of Middle-earth.


Nature plays an important role in Tolkien's works.
Through characters like Tom Bombadil and the
Ents, Tolkien seems to be saying that nature is an
entity separate from ourselves, something to be
respected, not dominated. His good characters have
a great respect and love for nature, while the evil
ones destroy nature. Furthermore, those who live
close to nature, such as the hobbits and the elves of
Lorien, seem to draw great power for good from it.


This is related to the previous theme, for Tolkien saw
technology as something that destroys nature. Middle-earth
is for the most part a pretechnological world. The only
technology that exists is introduced by the forces of evil
and is used in destructive ways. To Tolkien, technology
represents the evils of the modern world: ugliness,
depersonalization, and the separation of man from nature.

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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - Barron's Booknotes

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