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A non-reader on the nobility issue

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  • SusanPal@aol.com
    Hi, everybody. My older sister, who hasn t read LotR (although she bought me my first copy of The Hobbit when I was a teensy thing, and read The Lion, The
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 31, 2002
      Hi, everybody. My older sister, who hasn't read LotR (although she bought me
      my first copy of The Hobbit when I was a teensy thing, and read The Lion, The
      Witch and the Wardrobe aloud to me) has now seen both films. She rented FotR
      on tape -- missed it in the theaters -- and liked it okay, but she and her
      husband both like TTT better. They said it was less confusing and it held
      their interest more consistently, and my sister specifically commented on the
      fact that she thought the characters seemed more noble.

      I haven't had a chance to discuss this with her in detail, but I wonder if
      it's due to something I noticed in the book when I taught it this past
      semester, and have since noticed in the films, too. FotR is largely driven
      by necessity: the urgent need to destroy the Ring, to get out of the Shire,
      to find some way over or under Caradhras, etc. The characters are all driven
      along a fairly simple -- if strenuous -- path; in TTT they begin to face
      multiple and agonizing choices (try to follow Frodo East, or continue South?
      trust Gollum or not? etc.), and their decisions in the face of those choices
      shape our perceptions of their characters. More than in TTT, we move from
      admiring them because they do what must be done to admiring them for being
      able to *decide* what must be done, and to act on it.

      At any rate, my sister did admire the characters more in the second film,
      which I found interesting. (I'm sure she'd have had a very different
      reaction if she'd read the book, though!)

      Susan
    • Ernest Tomlinson
      ... An excellent point! Very astute. I can add this observation, now that I think about it: when the characters _do_ make hard choices in _The Fellowship of
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 31, 2002
        On 12/31/02 6:37 PM, "SusanPal@..." <SusanPal@...> wrote:

        > I haven't had a chance to discuss this with her in detail, but I wonder if
        > it's due to something I noticed in the book when I taught it this past
        > semester, and have since noticed in the films, too. FotR is largely driven
        > by necessity: the urgent need to destroy the Ring, to get out of the Shire,
        > to find some way over or under Caradhras, etc. The characters are all driven
        > along a fairly simple -- if strenuous -- path; in TTT they begin to face
        > multiple and agonizing choices (try to follow Frodo East, or continue South?
        > trust Gollum or not? etc.), and their decisions in the face of those choices
        > shape our perceptions of their characters. More than in TTT, we move from
        > admiring them because they do what must be done to admiring them for being
        > able to *decide* what must be done, and to act on it.

        An excellent point! Very astute. I can add this observation, now that I
        think about it: when the characters _do_ make hard choices in _The
        Fellowship of the Ring_, they go wrong, from the small scale to the large.
        Frodo backed by Merry decides on cutting through the Old Forest to avoid the
        dangerous Road, and nearly end the Quest disastrously right there; Aragorn's
        decision to lead the hobbits to Weathertop leads them into a trap; Gandalf's
        decision to take the Fellowship out of sight into Moria costs him his life;
        Aragorn delays and delays a final decision on where the Ring should go,
        until fate takes the decision out of his hands.

        Cheers,

        Ernest.

        --
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