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Re: [mythsoc] two queries

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  • John D Rateliff
    ... Ah. Yes, that s probably the one. I actually had this on my shelves within reach (between Randal Helms second book and that awful one by the Hildebrandts)
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 13, 2008
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      On Feb 7, 2008, at 2:57 PM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:
      > On the second question about pacifists - there's a section in my
      > book _War and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien_ on the hawk/dove
      > interpretations of Tolkien - see pp. 6-8. Phillip Helms is the
      > example I used. In a 1986 piece in Minas Tirith Evening Star he
      > read Tolkien as purely pacifist because of Frodo's attitude at the
      > end. The thing that got me was that he actually quoted Tolkien's
      > letters to his sons in the war but left out the bits where Tolkien
      > expressed his pride in their service and his wish that he could be
      > actively involved. Not to mention the bits where it was actually
      > armed resistance that freed the Shire.

      Ah. Yes, that's probably the one. I actually had this on my shelves
      within reach (between Randal Helms' second book and that awful one by
      the Hildebrandts) but forgot about it in the thirteen years that have
      lapsed since I read it. On rereading it now, I see that he tries to
      convey what it was like to be there in the sixties and why antiwar
      activists of that era embraced JRRT's book. Which, of course, is
      quite a different thing from determining Tolkien's own attitude
      towards war and pacifism.

      By the way, I've now found and read CSL's "Why I Am Not A
      Pacifist", in the collection C. S. LEWIS: ESSAY COLLECTION & OTHER
      SHORT PIECES, ed. Lesley Walmsley [2000]. I highly recommend the
      collection, which includes a lot of ephemeral pieces that address all
      kinds of (then-) contemporary issues, but not the essay. Certainly I
      don't think CSL will convince anyone who doesn't agree with him
      already, nor do I think he intends to. Anyone really interested in
      the topic will want to read the essay for himself or herself, of course.
      For the sake of those who don't have the essay handy, re. the
      specific 'turn the other cheek' passage Lewis argues that this cannot
      have any military application, since "the audience were private
      people in a disarmed nation". For him, it applies only to "an injury
      to me by my neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate". He does
      not link it to Peter's behavior in the Garden but instead to two
      passages in the epistles (Romans 13:4 and Ist Peter 2:14) which argue
      that Christians must be submissive before authority and obey their
      governments in all things.* His larger argument here is that majority
      opinion is against pacifism, which must therefore be wrong.
      He also argues that if the two people in the 'turn the other
      cheek' example aren't equals, Christ's admonition does not apply --
      for example, if a college student were to strike his tutor. I found
      this specific exemption highly amusing.

      --JDR

      *these come from the same passages that declare wives must be
      submissive to their husbands (1st Peter 3:1) and that governments
      rule by divine right ('Let every person be subject to the governing
      authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those
      that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the
      authorities resists what God has appointed'; Romans 13:1-2a).
    • Mike Foster
      For what it s worth, in the early drafts of the final chapters of _The Lord of the Rings_, narrating the events leading up to the scouring of the Shire, many
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 13, 2008
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        For what it's worth, in the early drafts of the final chapters of _The
        Lord of the Rings_, narrating the events leading up to the scouring of
        the Shire, many of the defiant words and deeds are Frodo's. In
        revision, Tolkien transferred these to Pippin and more often Merry.

        --MAF

        -----Original Message-----
        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        Of John D Rateliff
        Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 11:43 AM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] two queries

        On Feb 7, 2008, at 2:57 PM, Croft, Janet B. wrote:
        > On the second question about pacifists - there's a section in my
        > book _War and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien_ on the hawk/dove
        > interpretations of Tolkien - see pp. 6-8. Phillip Helms is the
        > example I used. In a 1986 piece in Minas Tirith Evening Star he
        > read Tolkien as purely pacifist because of Frodo's attitude at the
        > end. The thing that got me was that he actually quoted Tolkien's
        > letters to his sons in the war but left out the bits where Tolkien
        > expressed his pride in their service and his wish that he could be
        > actively involved. Not to mention the bits where it was actually
        > armed resistance that freed the Shire.

        Ah. Yes, that's probably the one. I actually had this on my shelves
        within reach (between Randal Helms' second book and that awful one by
        the Hildebrandts) but forgot about it in the thirteen years that have
        lapsed since I read it. On rereading it now, I see that he tries to
        convey what it was like to be there in the sixties and why antiwar
        activists of that era embraced JRRT's book. Which, of course, is
        quite a different thing from determining Tolkien's own attitude
        towards war and pacifism.

        By the way, I've now found and read CSL's "Why I Am Not A
        Pacifist", in the collection C. S. LEWIS: ESSAY COLLECTION & OTHER
        SHORT PIECES, ed. Lesley Walmsley [2000]. I highly recommend the
        collection, which includes a lot of ephemeral pieces that address all
        kinds of (then-) contemporary issues, but not the essay. Certainly I
        don't think CSL will convince anyone who doesn't agree with him
        already, nor do I think he intends to. Anyone really interested in
        the topic will want to read the essay for himself or herself, of course.
        For the sake of those who don't have the essay handy, re. the
        specific 'turn the other cheek' passage Lewis argues that this cannot
        have any military application, since "the audience were private
        people in a disarmed nation". For him, it applies only to "an injury
        to me by my neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate". He does
        not link it to Peter's behavior in the Garden but instead to two
        passages in the epistles (Romans 13:4 and Ist Peter 2:14) which argue
        that Christians must be submissive before authority and obey their
        governments in all things.* His larger argument here is that majority
        opinion is against pacifism, which must therefore be wrong.
        He also argues that if the two people in the 'turn the other
        cheek' example aren't equals, Christ's admonition does not apply --
        for example, if a college student were to strike his tutor. I found
        this specific exemption highly amusing.

        --JDR

        *these come from the same passages that declare wives must be
        submissive to their husbands (1st Peter 3:1) and that governments
        rule by divine right ('Let every person be subject to the governing
        authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those
        that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the
        authorities resists what God has appointed'; Romans 13:1-2a).



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Lynn Maudlin
        ... It *is* interesting, living in a country which exists because our founding fathers (and mamas, too) said, hey, this is NOT right and here s why it s not
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 13, 2008
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          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
          >
          > *these come from the same passages that declare wives must be
          > submissive to their husbands (1st Peter 3:1) and that governments
          > rule by divine right ('Let every person be subject to the governing
          > authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those
          > that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the
          > authorities resists what God has appointed'; Romans 13:1-2a).

          It *is* interesting, living in a country which exists because our
          founding fathers (and mamas, too) said, "hey, this is NOT right and
          here's why it's not right and here's why God Himself would think it's
          not right" - and yet we have both Hebrew scriptures (Nebuchadnezzar
          himself in Daniel chapter 4 (specifically verse 17) and the NT stating
          that God establishes governments and even suffers the ungodly ones.

          So when there's a bad government, we need to ask what we're supposed
          to learn from it, are we being disciplined, etc... A challenge,
          because I think we're not supposed to be passive or defeatist about
          these things.

          -- Lynn --
        • Lynn Maudlin
          ... I don t know what you expect us to conclude from that, Mike - my own conclusion is that Frodo s journey was not that of a warrior and his sacrifice was not
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 13, 2008
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
            >
            > For what it's worth, in the early drafts of the final chapters of _The
            > Lord of the Rings_, narrating the events leading up to the scouring of
            > the Shire, many of the defiant words and deeds are Frodo's. In
            > revision, Tolkien transferred these to Pippin and more often Merry.
            >
            > --MAF

            I don't know what you expect us to conclude from that, Mike - my own
            conclusion is that Frodo's journey was not that of a warrior and his
            sacrifice was not made with a sword. But I don't think that means
            Frodo didn't support Merry and Pippin in *their* call to be brave
            battling hobbits--

            -- Lynn --
          • David Emerson
            ... Yeah, but that s Old Testament -- the same document that says women are unclean and wearing clothes of different fabrics is a sin. Not to mention how
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 13, 2008
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              >It *is* interesting, living in a country which exists because our
              >founding fathers (and mamas, too) said, "hey, this is NOT right and
              >here's why it's not right and here's why God Himself would think it's
              >not right" - and yet we have both Hebrew scriptures (Nebuchadnezzar
              >himself in Daniel chapter 4 (specifically verse 17) and the NT stating
              >that God establishes governments and even suffers the ungodly ones.

              Yeah, but that's Old Testament -- the same document that says women are unclean and wearing clothes of different fabrics is a sin. Not to mention how horrible it is to eat cheesburgers, pork chops, or shrimp.

              emerdavid

              ________________________________________
              PeoplePC Online
              A better way to Internet
              http://www.peoplepc.com
            • David Bratman
              Tolkien had already written Frodo renouncing the carrying of weapons in Mordor when he drafted the initial versions of the Scouring in which Frodo fights
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 13, 2008
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                Tolkien had already written Frodo renouncing the carrying of weapons in Mordor when he drafted the initial versions of the Scouring in which Frodo fights Sharky in single combat and does other improbable things. It took Tolkien's conscious a while to catch on to what his subconscious was doing.

                Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:

                >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
                >>
                >> For what it's worth, in the early drafts of the final chapters of _The
                >> Lord of the Rings_, narrating the events leading up to the scouring of
                >> the Shire, many of the defiant words and deeds are Frodo's. In
                >> revision, Tolkien transferred these to Pippin and more often Merry.
                >>
                >> --MAF
                >
                >I don't know what you expect us to conclude from that, Mike - my own
                >conclusion is that Frodo's journey was not that of a warrior and his
                >sacrifice was not made with a sword. But I don't think that means
                >Frodo didn't support Merry and Pippin in *their* call to be brave
                >battling hobbits--
              • Mike Foster
                .but at the top of the Roll in all accounts stand the names of Captains Meriadoc and Peregrin. Frodo had been in the battle, but he had not drawn sword, and
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 13, 2008
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                  ".but at the top of the Roll in all accounts stand the names of Captains
                  Meriadoc and Peregrin.
                  "Frodo had been in the battle, but he had not drawn sword, and his chief
                  part had been to prevent the hobbits, in their wrath at their losses,
                  from slaying those of their enemies who threw down their weapons."

                  p. 365, "The Scouring of the Shire," _The Return of the King_,
                  Ballantine paperback edition.

                  Conclude what you will; the fact is that Frodo's heroism is finally not
                  that of a warrior. Why Tolkien revised his story thus is conjecture;
                  that he did so is fact.

                  _Pax vobiscum_
                  Mike

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                  Of David Bratman
                  Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 6:53 PM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: two queries

                  Tolkien had already written Frodo renouncing the carrying of weapons in
                  Mordor when he drafted the initial versions of the Scouring in which
                  Frodo fights Sharky in single combat and does other improbable things.
                  It took Tolkien's conscious a while to catch on to what his subconscious
                  was doing.

                  Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@ <mailto:lynnmaudlin%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com>
                  wrote:

                  >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com,
                  "Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> For what it's worth, in the early drafts of the final chapters of
                  _The
                  >> Lord of the Rings_, narrating the events leading up to the scouring
                  of
                  >> the Shire, many of the defiant words and deeds are Frodo's. In
                  >> revision, Tolkien transferred these to Pippin and more often Merry.
                  >>
                  >> --MAF
                  >
                  >I don't know what you expect us to conclude from that, Mike - my own
                  >conclusion is that Frodo's journey was not that of a warrior and his
                  >sacrifice was not made with a sword. But I don't think that means
                  >Frodo didn't support Merry and Pippin in *their* call to be brave
                  >battling hobbits--



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • David Bratman
                  Mike - You write in a tough fact-citing tone that sounds as if you re disputing something that I said, but I cannot figure out what it might be. Frodo s odd
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 13, 2008
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                    Mike -

                    You write in a tough fact-citing tone that sounds as if you're disputing something that I said, but I cannot figure out what it might be.

                    Frodo's odd and inappropriate behavior was, as I said, in the first draft, not the final draft. And then, as I wrote, "It took Tolkien's conscious a while to catch on to what his subconscious was doing." But when he figured it out, he wrote the excellent final text that you quote. Now isn't that marvelous, perhaps even more so than if he'd gotten it right the first time?

                    "Conclude what you will, the fact is ..." you write, but I never said otherwise. "That he revised [the story] is fact," you also write, as indeed it is fact, and I took the liberty of assuming readers of this list would know that, without my having to shake the Ballantine paperback edition of _The Return of the King_ at them.

                    David B.

                    -----Original Message-----
                    >From: Mike Foster <mafoster@...>
                    >Sent: Feb 13, 2008 8:10 PM
                    >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: two queries
                    >
                    >".but at the top of the Roll in all accounts stand the names of Captains
                    >Meriadoc and Peregrin.
                    >"Frodo had been in the battle, but he had not drawn sword, and his chief
                    >part had been to prevent the hobbits, in their wrath at their losses,
                    >from slaying those of their enemies who threw down their weapons."
                    >
                    >p. 365, "The Scouring of the Shire," _The Return of the King_,
                    >Ballantine paperback edition.
                    >
                    >Conclude what you will; the fact is that Frodo's heroism is finally not
                    >that of a warrior. Why Tolkien revised his story thus is conjecture;
                    >that he did so is fact.
                    >
                    >_Pax vobiscum_
                    >Mike
                    >
                    >-----Original Message-----
                    >From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                    >Of David Bratman
                    >Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 6:53 PM
                    >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: two queries
                    >
                    >Tolkien had already written Frodo renouncing the carrying of weapons in
                    >Mordor when he drafted the initial versions of the Scouring in which
                    >Frodo fights Sharky in single combat and does other improbable things.
                    >It took Tolkien's conscious a while to catch on to what his subconscious
                    >was doing.
                    >
                    >Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@ <mailto:lynnmaudlin%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com>
                    >wrote:
                    >
                    >>--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com,
                    >"Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
                    >>>
                    >>> For what it's worth, in the early drafts of the final chapters of
                    >_The
                    >>> Lord of the Rings_, narrating the events leading up to the scouring
                    >of
                    >>> the Shire, many of the defiant words and deeds are Frodo's. In
                    >>> revision, Tolkien transferred these to Pippin and more often Merry.
                    >>>
                    >>> --MAF
                    >>
                    >>I don't know what you expect us to conclude from that, Mike - my own
                    >>conclusion is that Frodo's journey was not that of a warrior and his
                    >>sacrifice was not made with a sword. But I don't think that means
                    >>Frodo didn't support Merry and Pippin in *their* call to be brave
                    >>battling hobbits--
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Mike Foster
                    David, Please don t take what I wrote as a disputation of or quarrel with your observations. I was addressing the original question of this thread, which was
                    Message 9 of 14 , Feb 14, 2008
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                      David,
                      Please don't take what I wrote as a disputation of or quarrel with your
                      observations. I was addressing the original question of this thread,
                      which was whether or not Tolkien was a pacifist, which was the topic as
                      it originally appeared. I used the text because it was handy, and
                      "Conclude what you will" was a plural "you," addressed to the readers of
                      this thread related to the question of JRRT's pacifism. Whether he was
                      or was not-and I think he loathed war but realized that sometimes wars
                      must be fought-he revised his story so that Frodo was not a warrior in
                      the scouring of the shire, but rather one who sought to prevent needless
                      bloodshed.

                      Without a shake,
                      Mike

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                      Of David Bratman
                      Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 12:47 AM
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: two queries

                      Mike -

                      You write in a tough fact-citing tone that sounds as if you're disputing
                      something that I said, but I cannot figure out what it might be.

                      Frodo's odd and inappropriate behavior was, as I said, in the first
                      draft, not the final draft. And then, as I wrote, "It took Tolkien's
                      conscious a while to catch on to what his subconscious was doing." But
                      when he figured it out, he wrote the excellent final text that you
                      quote. Now isn't that marvelous, perhaps even more so than if he'd
                      gotten it right the first time?

                      "Conclude what you will, the fact is ..." you write, but I never said
                      otherwise. "That he revised [the story] is fact," you also write, as
                      indeed it is fact, and I took the liberty of assuming readers of this
                      list would know that, without my having to shake the Ballantine
                      paperback edition of _The Return of the King_ at them.

                      David B.

                      -----Original Message-----
                      >From: Mike Foster <mafoster@hughes. <mailto:mafoster%40hughes.net> net>
                      >Sent: Feb 13, 2008 8:10 PM
                      >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
                      >Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: two queries
                      >
                      >".but at the top of the Roll in all accounts stand the names of
                      Captains
                      >Meriadoc and Peregrin.
                      >"Frodo had been in the battle, but he had not drawn sword, and his
                      chief
                      >part had been to prevent the hobbits, in their wrath at their losses,
                      >from slaying those of their enemies who threw down their weapons."
                      >
                      >p. 365, "The Scouring of the Shire," _The Return of the King_,
                      >Ballantine paperback edition.
                      >
                      >Conclude what you will; the fact is that Frodo's heroism is finally not
                      >that of a warrior. Why Tolkien revised his story thus is conjecture;
                      >that he did so is fact.
                      >
                      >_Pax vobiscum_
                      >Mike
                      >
                      >-----Original Message-----
                      >From: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
                      [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com] On
                      Behalf
                      >Of David Bratman
                      >Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 6:53 PM
                      >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
                      >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: two queries
                      >
                      >Tolkien had already written Frodo renouncing the carrying of weapons in
                      >Mordor when he drafted the initial versions of the Scouring in which
                      >Frodo fights Sharky in single combat and does other improbable things.
                      >It took Tolkien's conscious a while to catch on to what his
                      subconscious
                      >was doing.
                      >
                      >Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@ <mailto:lynnmaudlin%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com>
                      >wrote:
                      >
                      >>--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com,
                      >"Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
                      >>>
                      >>> For what it's worth, in the early drafts of the final chapters of
                      >_The
                      >>> Lord of the Rings_, narrating the events leading up to the scouring
                      >of
                      >>> the Shire, many of the defiant words and deeds are Frodo's. In
                      >>> revision, Tolkien transferred these to Pippin and more often Merry.
                      >>>
                      >>> --MAF
                      >>
                      >>I don't know what you expect us to conclude from that, Mike - my own
                      >>conclusion is that Frodo's journey was not that of a warrior and his
                      >>sacrifice was not made with a sword. But I don't think that means
                      >>Frodo didn't support Merry and Pippin in *their* call to be brave
                      >>battling hobbits--
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Lynn Maudlin
                      ... are unclean and wearing clothes of different fabrics is a sin. Not to mention how horrible it is to eat cheesburgers, pork chops, or shrimp. ... You do
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 14, 2008
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                        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson <emerdavid@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Yeah, but that's Old Testament -- the same document that says women
                        are unclean and wearing clothes of different fabrics is a sin. Not to
                        mention how horrible it is to eat cheesburgers, pork chops, or shrimp.
                        >
                        > emerdavid

                        You do know that's like waving a red flag in front of a bull, right?!
                        {grin}. Actually, the Hebrew scriptures say none of those things; the
                        Torah provides the Law given to the nation Israel - that law was never
                        given to the rest of the world, so mixing wool and linen is a sin for
                        *the Jews* (which I've heard described as mixing 'work' and 'rest' -
                        each is good, in the right place). Women are not unclean except during
                        their menses (and men were unclean after having a wet dream--). I'm
                        personally always intrigued by how "do not boil a kid in its mother's
                        milk" gets turned into "no meat and dairy in the same meal" but that's
                        certainly one way to make sure you never boil a kid in its mother's milk.

                        I was just reading the dietary laws in Leviticus this morning (such
                        timing!) and what strikes me is how God prohibited eating creatures
                        which 1) eat other creatures (predators, vultures, eagles, sharks,
                        etc.) and 2) eating creatures which consume filth (pigs will eat
                        anything if they're allowed, it's actually disgusting; things like
                        lobster & crab clean up the shallow seabed where waste accumulates)
                        and 3) eating creatures of especially high intelligence (dolphins,
                        whales).

                        I think some of the law was given to set the Israelites apart from the
                        nations around them and other parts of the law may have been given for
                        practical health reasons.

                        [/END TANGENT!!!]
                      • Lynn Maudlin
                        ... And Merry and Pippin s heroism *is* that of the warrior. I don t draw an over-arching conclusion from it, Mike, and I was trying to find out if *you* do,
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 14, 2008
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                          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > Conclude what you will; the fact is that Frodo's heroism is finally
                          > not that of a warrior. Why Tolkien revised his story thus is
                          > conjecture; that he did so is fact.
                          >
                          > _Pax vobiscum_
                          > Mike

                          And Merry and Pippin's heroism *is* that of the warrior. I don't draw
                          an over-arching conclusion from it, Mike, and I was trying to find out
                          if *you* do, what you find the significance to be. I think different
                          people's lives have different lessons, different experiences,
                          different requirements - both in real life and in fiction.

                          Happy Valentine's Day to you and your Jo-ness!

                          -- Lynn --
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