Joseph Joubert said, "We find little in books but what we put there. But in great books, the mind finds room to put many things." With The Lord of the Rings, I have learned many great things and it has influenced my life in many ways. J.R.R. Tolkien adds so many hidden meanings that you can't read the books and come away empty handed. I learned about the repercussions of technological progress and that friendship is the most important thing in the world.
While most people praise new inventions for making our lives easier, Tolkien tried to warn us of the dangerous side. In The Lord of the Rings, it was not the good side that had the advanced technology, but the evil side, and they used it only for the destruction of life. Tolkien wanted us to realize that if we depend too much on technology, we may forget how to live our lives the right way. As Ralph Emerson said, "The civilized man has built a coach, but he has lost the use of his feet."
The last and most important message that Tolkien sends through his books, is the importance of friends. They are the ones that help one along the path of life. Countless times, Gandalf rushed to the aid of his friends against enemies far stronger than they could handle. In the first book, Elrond made sure that there were friends to go alongside Frodo and make sure he could get to Mordor and destroy the ring. Even though the company split up and Frodo wished to go on alone, Sam wouldn't allow it. Frodo never would have destroyed the ring if Sam wasn't there to help him. Even when Frodo and Sam thought they were about to die they were thankful for being in one another's company. "I am glad you are here with me, Sam. Here at the end of all things, Sam."
Though there are many more things to learn in The Lord of the Rings, the dangers of technological progress and the importance of friendship are the things that I apply most in my life. As C.S. Lewis says about Tolkien's epic trilogy,...