Notes on The Fellowship of the Ring Themes

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The Fellowship of the Ring Topic Tracking: Nature

Book 1, Chapter 3

Nature 1: The hobbits' expedition into the wilderness is a foray into the unknown. They see landscapes and creatures they have never before imagined. Elves are intelligent manifestations of nature. They care for the natural world and protect it from needless destruction. They are at once part of the forest and beyond it.

Book 1, Chapter 6

Nature 2: The hobbits enter into a foreign realm in which they become quickly disoriented. They are not really afraid, but apprehensive. They think nothing of their sudden sleepiness near the willow tree. When the tree throws some of them into the water and traps Pippin, their first thought is to strike back, but the tree is stronger. Only Tom Bombadil can help. Tom Bombadil is at once a part of nature and beyond it. He is capable of controlling everything in the forest.

Book 1, Chapter 8

Nature 3: The hobbits fear the forest. Even though Goldberry and Tom make it easier for them, everything about it makes them uneasy. They travel safely until they encounter the barrow-wight, a creature that makes its home in ruins left behind by an ancient civilization.

Book 1, Chapter 11

Nature 4: The natural world is the expedition's greatest opposition next to the black riders. It frosts them with cold in the morning and slathers them with heat as they struggle to make their way through the swamps. The world of men (the road) is not safe because they can easily be seen. The natural world, on the other hand, makes them move more slowly and offers obstacles of its own.

Book 1, Chapter 12

Nature 5: With the magic of Elrond, the flow of the river washes away the black riders' horses and slows their pursuit of Frodo.

Book 2, Chapter 3

Nature 6: Nature becomes the expedition's greatest adversary. It is the middle of winter when they leave. They must travel through the mountains and the cold with their backs laden with food. Beyond the usual difficulty, the land itself has fallen under the influence of evil. Aragorn can feel it and sense it all around them. The snow prevents them from crossing over the mountain and forces them into Moria.

Book 2, Chapter 4

Nature 7: Nature continues to oppose them. The wargs force them to hasten and surround them. With such an onslaught, they can barely sleep or eat. The beast in the lake frightens Frodo and traps them in the mine. Below the earth, they are isolated from the natural world and at the whim of the shadows and turning caverns.

Book 2, Chapter 6

Nature 8: The elves live in harmony with nature and foster the natural world. The trees are stronger and the flowers more beautiful where they tend them. Lothlorien is a sacred sanctuary to them, and a place of mystery for others. Boromir, a man, fears the elf sanctuary. A nearby forest was once inhabited by Sauron and made evil. The forest reflects the nature and character of those who inhabit it.

Book 2, Chapter 9

Nature 9: As they get closer to Mordor and their journey becomes more dangerous, the landscape reflects this feeling. The beautiful trees of Lothlorien give way to desolate plains, dark mountains, and dangerous swamps. Nothing about their quest will be easy.

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