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What does Tom Bombadil symbolize in The Lord of the Rings?

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gabrielairiart | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 4, 2011 at 2:23 PM via web

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What does Tom Bombadil symbolize in The Lord of the Rings?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 3, 2013 at 5:55 AM (Answer #1)

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"Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow! Bright Blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow!"

Tom Bombadil embodies the goodness of the natural world.  In many ways, Tom can be seen as a character foil to Sauron, the Deceiver.  Where Sauron has corrupted the land, twisted life to evil, and created ruin and strife, Tom Bombadil lives and dwells among nature and the goodness of the earth.  His existence is harmonious and generous, which is proven in the incident where Tom comes into contact with the Ring, but is not affected by its evil power.  Evil has no meaning to Tom, because he epitomizes the wholesomeness of the natural world in Middle Earth.

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Kristen Lentz

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