The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkien - Literary Analysis Essay Sample

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Literature review
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The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book of the trilogy called The Lord of the Rings, written by British author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. This epic fantasy novel was one of the first works written like a fairy-tale or a myth. This work has a great philosophical meaning and a heroic plot. It is full of symbols, philosophy, and wisdom.

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Conflicts in the Fellowship of the Ring

The main themes in this novel are the influence of power and responsibility for power and destiny. These themes are shown throughout the main conflicts of the story. The plot of this story is built around conflicts.

Fellowship of the Ring Good versus Evil

The main conflict is external-good vs evil. In this story, it is in a form like humanity vs evil. An antagonist in this conflict is a Dark Lord called Sauron. The main protagonist in this conflict is a hobbit called Frodo Baggins. The little hobbit bearer of the One Ring and his friends from the fellowship of the ring symbolizes humanity, who combats against Evil.

How Is Power Conveyed with Human Nature in the Fellowship of the Ring?

The other conflict is internal. It’s a conflict between men and their desire for power. The One Ring symbolizes power, and Frodos quest shows the responsibility of power. In the episode when Boromir asks Frodo to give him The One Ring and supposes what he can do with this power, the author shows the desire for power. Boromir is overwhelmed by The Ring, he is blind by his desire for power: 'Ah! The Ring! ' said Boromir, his eyes lighting. 'The Ring! Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing? So small a thing! And I have seen it only for an instant in the House of Elrond. Could I not have a sight of it again? ' (J. R. R. Tolkien., 2008). He supposes what he can do with the Ring without noticing Fodo: The Ring would give me the power of Command. How I would drive the hosts of Mordor, and all men would flock to my banner!' (J. R. R. Tolkien., 2008). But the full danger of power, one can find in Nazguls, who are the victims of the Ring.

Fellowship of the Ring Quotes about Destiny

The other conflict is free will vs destiny. I wish it need not have happened in my time, said Frodo. So do I, said Gandalf, and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. (J. R. R. Tolkien., 2008). The plot is based on this conflict. All main characters have a great destiny, but they all can decide how to fulfill it. For example, Aragorn, who is trying to come away from his destiny to become a king, decided to help hobbits and becomes a leader of the fellowship of the Ring. And that was the first step to fulfill his destiny to become a king.

Fellowship of the Ring Plot Analysis

The plot structure is linear, but with a lot of flashbacks in a form of prophecies and Gandalfs explanations. These elements emphasize the dependence of characters on their destiny. This story begins with the descriptions of Bilbo Baggins’s birthday party, after which he went away having left the Ring for Frodo. The Exposition is the episode when Frodo received the One Ring and his quest begins. The conflict develops in the description of Frodo’s travel and formation of the fellowship of the ring. The climax of the conflict is the episode when Boromir wants to seize the Ring from Frodo. This story ends with a conclusion of the conflict between Boromir and his desire for power when Frodo and Sam go away without other members of the fellowship.

What Is the Symbolism of the Fellowship of the Ring?

The most important parts of the plot have symbolic meanings. The races in this story symbolize nations with their unique features. The fellowship of the ring presents various nations, who are different but united for the combat with evil. They compete with each other, they joke at each other, but they together stand for the same ideals and combat for the same things. 'It was not the fault of the Dwarves that the friendship waned,' said Gimli. 'I have not heard that it was the fault of the Elves,' said Legolas.'I have heard both,' said Gandalf; 'and I will not give judgment now. But I beg you two, Legolas and Gimli, at least to be friends, and to help me. I need you both. The doors are shut and hidden, and the sooner we find them the better. The night is at hand! ' (J. R. R. Tolkien., 2008). There are neither good nor bad notions in Tolkien’s world. Orcs aren’t bad themselves. The evil is their King and main leader Sauron and their bloodthirsty commanders.

The settings in this novel also have symbolic meaning. The Shire, Frodo's native land symbolizes peace. It’s a place where nothing dangerous happens. Rivendell symbolizes great power in combination with wisdom. A high council conveys the responsibility for power and the alliance of nations which stands for the same ideals. The Mines of Moria emphasize the fatalism of the story, showing the strength of destiny. This setting conveys the corruption of power. Lothlorien symbolizes beauty. In the episode when hobbits look in The Mirror of Galadriel, they saw their destiny. They saw what might be with them.

Also, the road in this story has symbolic meaning. This element symbolizes destiny and the way of one’s life (life events which study a person something or change his\her personality).


To summarize all written, this novel is full of symbolic elements and philosophical ideas. It makes people think about the given themes. The epic plot and high philosophical themes are usual for the books of such genre.

Works Cited

Chance, Jane, Ed. The Lord of the Rings: The Mythology of Power,. University Press of Kentucky, 2001. Print.

Curry, Patrick. Defending Middle-earth: Tolkien: Myth and Modernity. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Print.

J. R. R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings. London, United Kingdom: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008. Print.

Upshaw, Quincey V. Structural polarities in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the rings. MA thesis. University of South Florida, 2009. Web.

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