J.R.R Tolkien`s Lord Of The Rings

Categories: The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R Tolkien born on January 3, 1892 in South Africa. After his father Arthur Tolkien’ s death he and rest of his family settled in Birmingham, England. Mabel Tolkien took her sons and they started to live in her father’s house. Throughout his education Tolkien had a talent for languages, he learned both modern and ancient languages in addition to Latin, Greek and Spanish and most importanly Finnish because he was influenced by the Finnish language the most while creating new languages.

Tolkien’s linguistic talent had a great impact on his writings he was able to create new languages as well as the worlds he was creating. The languages he created can be seen in his books. He created 5 different languages in Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien’s mother Mabel Tolkien had a great influence in Tolkien’s life. Mabel Tolkien started to teach him latin words and that is when she realized that Tolkien was inclined to understand sound of the words.

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Also her mother gave her the love of nature through her botanical knowledge, trees affected Tolkien very much he was acting as if they were like humans. Books that Mabel Tolkien gave him to read when he was a boy shaped his imagination J.R.R. (Tolkien on deconstructing Arthurian Legends 185-187). The more he read the more connections he found between words, his curiosity for words made him analyze more about mythology and history.( J.R.R. Tolkien on deconstructing Arthurian Legends 185-187) Tolkien was determined to understand how language worked.

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Mabel Tolkien died in November 14th of 1904, Tolkien and his brother started to live in Oratory house and later they were sent tol ive with their aunt but she was not very loving person towards children because of that they returned to Oratory house.

Love had a great influence in Tolkien’s life. Tolkien met Edith Bratt when he was 16 and he fall in love with her but his guardian Father Frances was against their love. Tolkien was Catholic and Edith was not because of that religion created problem for their relationship it was one of the reasons Father Francis did not want them to be together because also other than religion Tolkien was too young to propose according to Father Francis but Tolkien never stopped loving Edith. After several years he wrote her a letter in 1913 but unfortunately she was engaged to be married with someone else but Tolkien was able to change her mind because Edith was also still had feelings for him and she even converted to Catholicism and proved her love for Tolkien. Edith and Tolkien got married in 1916 before the First World War(J.R.R. Tolkien on deconstructing Arthurian Legends 191).

Tolkien influenced from his own life and relations while writing his masterpieces, he integrated reality and imagination which created deeper meanings in his writings. First and Second World war had a huge impact on Tolkien’ s life especially on his writings.

[bookmark: _Hlk533599601]Tolkien established a secret reading club with his friends it was called T.C.B.S (Tea Club and Barrovian Society) at that time four of them were studying at King Edward’s School in 1911. Tolkien and his friends had a common interest for ancient languages, philosopy, literature and many more. Even though they went to different universities, they never lost connection. Unfortunately later on with the occurence of first World War their lives started to change they were no longer the same boys in the T.C.B.S one of his friends Rob Gilson killed in the war. Geoffrey Smith and Tolkien sent each other letters to stay in touch.

Tolkien wrote to Geoffrey saying; ‘’I do not feel a member of complete body now. I honestly feel that the T.C.B.S has ended.’’(Google Books Article Title:Tolkien and the Great War)

Tolkien witnessed brutality , fragmented rotting corpses it must have changed his mentality for the rest of his life and affected him deeply, which later on we will see how his life affected his writings. Geoffrey Smith severely injured and died in the battle. Before the battle he wrote to Tolkien but by the time that letter got in to Tolkien’s hands Geoffrey got injured and died in a short period of time. From Tolkien’s T.C.B.S friends only Christopher Wiseman survived from the first World War.

Tolkien lost many of his close friends in the Battle of Somme which had an effect on him deeply. He was able create a vivid atmosphere in Lord of the Rings because he witnessed the first World War. Tolkien wrote the tales of Middle-earth soon after returning from France after fighting in the first World War. Tolkien was a devoted Catholic but even he fell into depression and questioned if God really exists because he witnessed first World War from first place. The Great War had a negative impacts on people’s life as well as Tolkien’s he had to left his beloved wife after getting married and also he had pause his academic career. Nevertheless even war would not stopped Tolkien from writing , he kept writing when he had spare time. After leaving the military due to his health condition in 1920 he started as a lecturer at Leeds University and in 1924 he started to continue his carreer at Oxford University.

J.R.R Tolkien created different nations and races in Lord of the Rings , in order to support the fantastic world he created. “What I think is a primary ‘fact’ about my work, that it is all of a piece, and fundamentally linguistic in inspiration. The invention of languages is the foundation. The ‘stories’ were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse. To me a name comes first and the story follows. I should have preferred to write in ‘Elvish’. But, of course, such a work as The Lord of the Rings has been edited and only as much ‘language’ has been left in as I thought would be stomached by readers.”- J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien built his masterpiece on top of the languages he created. He reflected the Middle Earth and the people who live in there distinctively than each other through different linguistic competences which created a more veritable fantastic world in the minds of the readers.

Tolkien’s mother Mabel Tolkien was a devoted Catholic and she passed on her belief to her children as well.

‘’My own dear mother was a martyr indeed, and it is not to everybody that God grants so easy a way to His great gifts as He did to [my brother] and myself, giving us a mother who killed herself with labour and trouble to ensure us keeping the faith.’’ (The Hollowverse) said Tolkien about his mother. Tolkien was a devoted Catholic as her mother, still he kept his religious belief apart from his works. He believed that literature should never propogate religion because otherwise literary work would lose its objectivity.

The Lord of the Rings , one of the best selling books of all time yet J.R.R Tolkien did not start to write Lord of the Rings first , this journey began with the Hobbit. When Tolkien was a lecturer at Oxford University he was grading the student’s exam papers and in one of the papers there was a blank space and out of the blue he started to write ‘’In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit(8) it took his seven years to complete his book it released on 1937 September. They made 1.500 copies and book sold out by December. Readers loved Hobbit and wanted the book to continue and read more about hobbits later it turned to be Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien’s academic background was sufficient enough to create mythology and languages for his stories. Also his experiences in life and the people he met appeared in his stories as well, not directly but under the cover of new characters Tolkien re-shaped them but also Tolkien with his endless imagination he created new characters,places and names no one ever could imagine or dream about.

Joseph Campbell was born in 1904, New York. He was interested in mythology and it began at the age of 7 when he saw the Indians in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Madison Square garden. He was fond of reading and he read all the books he could find on Native Americans and when he read King Arthur found similar motifs similar the stories of Native Americans. Campbell studied Medieval Literature, throughout the years he expanded his education by studying different religions, mythologies, literatures, art and psychology. Because of his educational background Campbell realized the same sequence in mythologies and religions. He looked for the similarities between cultural myths and religious stories and he ended up with the theory called monomyth but the word originally belongs to James Joyce (9). Joseph Campbell, after investigating and studying numerous legends and stories from various times zones and regions of the world, expressed this cycle. Monomyth is a universal story structure, involves the hero receiving a 'call to adventure'

The theory of monomyth is another way of examining Lord of the Rings, even though there is no evidence to prove that J.R.R Tolkien influenced by Joseph Campbell’s theories both Tolkien and Campbell mostly influenced by the mythology and it created a common theme between two of them but originally there is no evidence that if Tolkien was ever aware of Campbell’s writings.

J.R.R Tolkien created his own mythology in the world he created and that world is called Middle Earth. Tolkien mostly influenced by North mythology and his religios background might have been affected him even though Tolkien believes that literature and religion should be kept apart but some critics seen religious motifs in his works.

According to Joseph Campbell’s book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” even if you have a different religious beliefs or culture compare to other religious or cultures you can always find similarities between stories. What Campbell believes is “Myhts are the same because the mind,which creates them is”

For instance there is always the concept of good and evil in every mythological or religious story and the message of these stories mostly the same.

Purpose of the monomyth is not to show differences between the stories but to show the universal obstacles that happens in every story and how it find its way to goodness. Monomyth gives hope that there is always something to discover or learn in stories flaw of the stories goes the same according to theory of monomyth.

Monomyth consists of 3 phases;

Seperation/Departure, divides into 5 stages:

  • The Call To Adventure
  • Refusal Of The Call
  • Supernatural Aid
  • The Crossing Of The Threshold
  • The Belly Of The Whale

Initiation, divides into 6 stages:

  • The Road Of Trials
  • The Meeting With The Goddess
  • Woman As Temptress
  • Atonement With The Father
  • Apotheosis
  • The Ultimate Boon

Return, divides into 6 stages:

  • Refusal Of The Return
  • The Magic Flight
  • Rescue From Without
  • The Crossing Of The Return Threshold
  • Master Of Two Worlds
  • Freedom To Live

The Call To Adventure, the hero is in his ordinary world when adventure is about to begin and it begins with Frodo Baggins. Frodo is a hobbit who lives in the Shire at Bag End with his uncle Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo Baggins is famous in the Shire with his adventures. Bilbo is getting old and planning to leave after his birthday.

In one of his adventures Bilbo found a ring and kept it for years with him but now he is planning to give to Frodo. Neither Bilbo nor Frodo even Gandalf knows the power of the ring. Gandalf the Grey realizes that isn’a ordinary ring and tells Frodo to keep the ring safe and secret until he returns.

Refusal Of The Call, hero refuses to take place in the mission because he needs to leave his comfort zone and has to step into the unknown. Gandalf the Grey returns to Shire and tells Frodo that the ring is far more powerful than he thought No matter what your purpose is the ring eventually posseses the owner because of that it must be destroyed but nothing in the Shire has power to destroy such ring. Frodo realizes that is a heavy burden for him keep and wants Gandalf to have it but he refuses and tell Frodo not to tempt him. Even though Frodo does not want to leave the Shire he wants to keep his friends and Shire safe and offers to leave the Shire.

Supernatural Aid, an object or even a feeling that is given for the protection for self or something that needs to be protected.. Supernatural object that Frodo will carry throughout is journey is the ring it is the most powerful object and it needs to be protected. Galadrial offers gifts to the Fellowship of the Ring such as elven cloaks,elven rope,food. Bilbo also gave Frodo Mithril to wear under his clothes to keep him safe.

The Crossing Of The Threshold, this is when actually the hero passes into the land where his journey will begin. “There! said Merry. You have left the Shire, and are now outside, and on the edge of the Old Forest” (LOTR 1995: 108). Now Frodo and his friends are out of their comfort zone. Old Forest is a dangerous place to pass by because in that forest everything is alive and it is even more threatining for the hobbits because they have never been out of the Shire before. Entering the Old Forest is the first step for Frodo but not the least because when he steps into Mordor that is when the real dangeour begins. Mordor also known as The Land of Shadow (The Silmarillion 1999: 412).

The Belly Of The Whale, means rebirth after getting injured fatally. For frodo it happened more than once. First Frodo attacked by Shelob and paralyzed, second when they were in the forest with Aragon Frodo stabbed by poisonous sword and deathly injured and saved by the Elrond.

The Road Of Trials, hero faces diffuculties through his journey alone or with a friend. Frodo experiences the situations or feelings he never thought or before. He is carrying this ring to destroy that no one dared to except to carry or even touch because they were afraid that the ring could tempt them. Along their way to destroy the ring nothing goes smoothly for Frodo and Sam because Sauron is after them and every place they pass by is dangerous. There are orcs everywhere who are trying to find Frodo and also Gollum is looking after for his precious. Frodo knew it would not be an easy path that is why he wanted to continue alone but Sam did not let him go alone.

The Meeting With The Goddess, Goddess encourages the hero to continue his mission. In this case Galadrial is the goddess who enchants Frodo with her beauty and helps him with her wisdom for his journey. She urges Frodo to continue and gives crystal phial as a gift.

Woman As Temptress, temptation does not have to come from women exactly the use of woman is here is a metophor. In his journey Frodo constantly tempted by the power of the ring to put it on but he fights back with all of his power but even though he fights back he puts the ring on his finger four times. Because he is afraid of the power ring has he offers the ring to Gandalf at first and later he offers the ring to Galadrial but luckily she rejects the ring because Gandalf and Galadrial, they are aware of the fact that one day they would be tempted by the evil forces of the ring no matter what their deeds would be ring must be destroyed.

Atonement With The Father, this stage shows the responsibilities Frodo carries along on his way as well as with his burden. Originally father figure symbolizes the judgment and Frodo is always on the edge of making decisions. Ring is small to carry but its burden is heavier than a human body and mind could carry but also it is dangerous to keep the ring safe when there are lot’s of people around because of that Frodo makes his decision to take the ring to Mordor by himself but Sam catches him before he leaves they carry on their way together.

Apotheosis,is when hero thinks he is complete and become divine. People are divided into two in Lord of the Rings, The ones who follow Gandalf the Grey’s path and the ones who follow Saruman. Gandalf and the people who can be considered as his followers wants to destroy the ring because no good deed can come out of the ring and it is dangerous in the hands of the evil people or creatures. Saruman wants to be the God and destroy every good thing in order to create his own hell. The ring is so powerful that it gives the owner feeling of god like which is against the human nature.

For instance Gollum the desire of wanting to have the ring dehumanised him and he killed his friend, he is anything but human his heart only beats for his precious ring which is not normal. In general you are what you choose, if you choose to put on the ring you become evil but if you fight back to destroy the ring it makes you a good person.You become what you decide to do. Along on his way Frodo loses his purpose several times and being deceived by the power of the ring at the end and he says he wants to keep the ring for himself but luckily Gollum bites off the Frodo’s finger to take the ring but he drops it into the fires of Mound Doom where it should be.

The Ultimate Boon,is a blessing or a favor for the hero or the people who successfully finished their journey. Even though Frodo’s intention changed at the end, he finished his journey with a success and with the destruction of the ring Sauron lost his power and no one got the ring nor the power. Nature turned back to the way it was before.On this journey Sam,Merry and Pippin finished succesfully their journey and Petty awarded them with a skill of defeating the intruders because for them it is important to protect borders of the Shire.

Refusal Of The Return, in this part normally hero doesn’t want to return to the ordinary world. For Frodo it wasn’t exactly the same because he was longing to get out of Mordor since it was a very dangerous place but also war changed him he wasn not the person anymore. Going back to the Shire no longer was his purpose even though he wants to be with his friends, he experienced a long and dangerous journey and it changed him.

The Magic Flight, is once hero complete his journey he wishes to go back to his lands where he is safe as soon as possible. Sam,Bilbo and Merry wishes to return to Shire but this is not what Frodo’s wish anymore. Rescue From Without, this is when the hero is rescued from unexpected source, When Frodo and Sam stuck on the middle of the lava they were unable to move and suddenly eagles show up and saved them from dying. Eagles came to help them under the leadership of Gandalf.

The Crossing Of The Return Threshold, hero gains knowledge through his journey. It was a rough journey and it changed Frodo. After he left Shire he faced with the difficulties he never thought of and it had an impact on his character. He is no longer able to feel the connection with the people in the Shire. He feels disconnected and lost, he knows that what he has lost through his journey can not be found in the Shire. “I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that othersmay keep them” (LOTR 1995: 1006)

Master Of Two Worlds, hero conquers his fears on his journey. Outside of the Shire Frodo is important after what he had done for the world, he managed to destroy the ring and protected his people in the Shire. He is not as much as respected in the Shire than he is outside of the Shire. Still his heart belongs to the Shire. Aragorn on the other hand took his rigthful place as a king and he gained his respectful place amongst in the Middle Earth.

Freedom To Live , hero must take action without thinking of his past or his future because everyone’s faith is on his hands. Frodo is responsible for destroying the ring but he is not alone he had friends along with his side Sam, Merry and Pippin they also took action without thinking their next move. They were not sure if they could ever turn back to Shire but in order to finish what they had started they face all the difficulties even though they were close to death on their journey. To live in freedom they accept to sacrifice themselves. Frodo understand this through Gandalf’s actions.


  • URLhttps://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/02/27/j-r-r-tolkien-fought-in-the-first-world-war-and-created-a-secret-code-to-communicate-with-his-wife/
  • URLhttp://greatwar.nl/frames/default-tolkiene.html
  • URLhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Wilde
  • URLhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR-4vMEiQ_U
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  • URLhttps://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-the-hobbit/
  • URLhttp://www.folkstory.com/campbell/scholars_life.html
  • URLhttps://scottjeffrey.com/heros-journey-steps/#Step_1_The_Ordinary_World
  • URLhttps://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joseph-campbells-17-stages-of-the-heros-journey_us_576a55e1e4b0869377fb619d
  • URLhttp://aydin.academia.edu/timucinedman/CurriculumVitae
  • URLhttps://books.google.com.tr/books
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J.R.R Tolkien`s Lord Of The Rings. (2021, Dec 07). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/j-r-r-tolkiens-lord-of-the-rings-essay

J.R.R Tolkien`s Lord Of The Rings
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