The Fellowship of the Ring Analysis

Places Discussed (Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Shire

Shire. Homeland of the hobbits, J. R. R. Tolkien’s “little people,” whose environment and culture are provincial and innocent. The journey motif anchors the story in the Shire, which is an idealized adaptation of Tolkien’s boyhood haunts in an English Midlands village. Free of industrial pollution, the well farmed countryside is pocked with underground housing, from the luxurious homes of the gentry to mere burrows, a correlative to the hobbits’ preference for a snug way of life that demands little awareness of a larger world outside.

Rivendell

Rivendell. Northern haven where the representatives of the “free peoples” (elves, dwarves, men, and hobbits) meet to discuss the fate of the Ring. When Frodo accepts the burden of the Ring. He, his servant, and two kinsmen set out on the Great East Road to this distant stronghold. A detour leads them through the Old Forest, where hostile trees menace them, but Tom Bombadil, a benign nature spirit, befriends them. Quickly they discover that the natural world beyond the Shire can be either dangerous or welcoming.

The travelers ford a wild river to reach Rivendell, the palace of Elrond Half-elven, who maintains this enchanted retreat by the power of one of three Elvish rings. Concealed in a deep and narrow valley, Rivendell is called the Last Homely House East of the Sea, “a perfect house,” as Bilbo once reports, “whether you like food or sleep or storytelling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.” At present it is also a key political site at which men, Elf lords, dwarves (Tolkien’s spelling), a wizard, and now hobbits confer about the rising dark power in Moria and his One Ring.

Reaching Bree

Reaching Bree. Village held jointly by hobbits and men. Frodo’s servant Sam is daunted by the inn, his first sight of the tall houses of men. There the hobbits are joined by Aragorn, a ranger of the North, who leads them on secret paths...

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The Fellowship of the Ring Literary Techniques

Tolkien includes throughout The Fellowship of the Ring numerous references to the near and distant history of Middle Earth, adding a...

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The Fellowship of the Ring Ideas for Group Discussions

Tolkien's richly detailed history of Middle-Earth, much of the detail of which never made it into his Lord of the Rings, nonetheless...

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The Fellowship of the Ring Social Concerns

At its heart, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, and The Lord of the Rings in general, revolves around questions of...

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The Fellowship of the Ring Literary Precedents

A portion of the continuing appeal of The Lord of the Rings trilogy undoubtedly lies in its originality. Nonetheless, Tolkien studied...

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The Fellowship of the Ring Related Titles

Tolkien's first published work of fiction was The Hobbit; or There and Back Again (1937), the very title of which indicates...

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The Fellowship of the Ring Adaptations

Recorded Books Unabridged has released both cassette and compact disc versions of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) read by Rob...

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The Fellowship of the Ring Bibliography (Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Giddings, Robert, ed. J. R. R. Tolkien: This Far Land. London: Vision Press Limited, 1983. A collection of ten essays that discuss Tolkien’s world and examine subjects ranging from narrative form and the use of humor to the construction of female sexuality.

Kocher, Paul H. Master of Middle-Earth. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972. A critical examination of Tolkien’s major fictional works. Focuses on the creation and development of Middle Earth and provides perspective on the different qualities of the races inhabiting the realm. Offers critical insight on Tolkien’s notions of choice within a Christian framework.

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