The Fellowship of the Ring
5 February 2013
Temptation and Its Pull
Temptation is a strong force in this novel that, at one point or another, shows itself to each of the main characters when they are weak and most willing to give in. The things they are tempted with are usually what they most desire in their hearts, making it much more difficult not to give in. Temptation; however, is not used solely for evil in this novel. It can bring people to do much good on occasion by affirming their sense of morality and ability to resist evil. Never the less, they each must partake in a battle with temptation and must choose to either overcome it, or give in to it. In this novel, Tolkien uses temptation as the main driving force for the development and maturation of his characters.
Frodo Baggins is the most obvious character that develops through his temptations. There are many occasions on which the powerful ring, that Frodo carries, tempts Frodo, but one specific incident is when Frodo is confronted by Ring Wraiths in a surprise ambush. Here Frodo is, “hardly less terrified than his companions,” however, “his terror [is] swallowed up in a sudden temptation to put on the ring” that compels, “him to disregard all warnings” given to him by Gandalf (191). Frodo is changing significantly because before he wouldn’t have even dreamed of ignoring Gandalf’s advice and didn’t feel as strong of a desire to put the ring on. Frodo is losing some of his identity and innocence in the ring. It is not that Frodo put the ring on out of fear, which would be more understandable; he put it on out of desire to feel the power associated with the Ring. With the ring Frodo feels selfish and hateful desires; even toward Bilbo, his closest relative, when he has the ring. However, not all of the temptations faced degrade Frodo’s character. After a failed attempt at crossing the Caradhras...