24 Hour Customer Service:

Call for a quote line:

Symbolism in the Lord of the Rings

How do you start a Symbolism in the Lord of the Rings research paper? Our expert writers suggest like this:

The Lord of the Rings is a highly regarded work of fiction that has inspired people and continues to do so. Known to be the second best-selling novel ever written, it is a compelling story that has been analyzed and discussed for numerous years. Symbolism in the Lord of the RingsA fantasy story with multiple meanings, symbolism is prevalent throughout the book. Common instances of symbolism are the following in Lord of the Rings:

  • Any symbol surrounding water
  • The ring
  • Mount doom.

There is more to each of these than meets the eye.

Water is symbolic of life preservation of those who are good-natured. Several characters’ lives were spared via the intervention of water, either as a means of providing an escape route or as a lifesaver in the literal sense. The ring itself has several meanings of its own; however, it is particularly symbolic of power, especially power over others. Those who possess the ring have a great deal of power; likewise, those who give into the temptation of the ring grow weak, another indication of power. Finally, Mount Doom could be interpreted as being another representation of power. After all, this was where the ring originated and ultimately the only way it could be destroyed. However, relinquishing the ring to Mount Doom would also mean relinquishing individual power, a desire that even those pure in heart wish to posses, as the book suggests. The symbolism encourages booklovers to read between the lines.

In Tolkien’s novels, magic rings are divided among the Elves, the Dwarves and mortal men, with the most powerful ring belonging to the Dark Lord, Sauron. In spite of their powers, these rings ultimately drain away the good from their wearers and eventually reduce the wearer to little more than a ghost. The instant lust for the ring’s power is apparent when the “good” characters, Bilbo, Frodo and even Galadriel, are tempted by it. Sauron is intent on getting possession of the ring of power, which has ended up in the keeping of the hobbit Frodo. The only way to destroy the ring, and with it the power of all the rings, is to take it back to Mount Mordor, Sauron’s kingdom, where it was created. Frodo, along with three other hobbits, and a company of Elves, Dwarves, and Men, make the treacherous journey, and eventually destroy the ring. With its destruction, however, it is clear that the old age (the Third Age of Middle-Earth) is at an end, and the Elves, who are the most godlike of its inhabitants, will soon leave for the Grey Havens, making way for an age of Men.

Given the time frame when The Lord of the Rings was written, it would be easy to view it as a parable of the struggle of the free world against the horrors of Naziism. Tolkien explicitly denied that this was the case: “It is neither allegorical nor topical” (Tolkien, “Foreword: The Fellowship of the Ring”). Still, the core of the books’ meaning seems to be the triumph of courage, love and honor over the forces of lust and greed. At times, the allegory seems to veer close to Christian doctrine, especially in the last stages of Frodo’s ordeal, when he seems a Christ-like figure in his own terrible Gethsemane. The difference, of course, is the faithful service of Samwise, who, unlike the sleeping disciples, selflessly attempts to preserve his master while supporting the dangerous mission.

Related Research Paper Topics

C.S. Lewis - C.S. Lewis research papers examine the British writer, Oxford and Cambridge don, and Christian apologist, best known for his Narnia series and the book Mere Christianity.

The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars Comparison - The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars were two of the most popular films of the 20th century that have striking similarites in the hero's quests that are seen from a cultural standpoint.

Star Wars - Star Wars research papers delve into what different critics had to say about the movie directed by George Lucas.

Symbolism in Literature term papers examine the use of symbolism in literature to convey deeper meanings in a story and to allow readers to look between the lines of a story.

Symbolism in Animal Farm Research Papers examine one of the most profound pieces of literary political commentary written by George Orwell.

Symbolism in Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Tess of the D'Urbervilles, like many of the literary works by Thomas Hardy, offers a critique of modernity.

Symbolism in Of Mice and Men - Steinbeck includes several symbols in Of Mice and Men that add depth to the story.

Symbolism of His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is an anti-religious literary work and the author frequently uses symbolism to convey his criticism of organized religion.

Symbols in Ethan Frome research papers discuss the themes and ideas in Ethan Frome.

Symbolism in Little Women - In her novel Little Women, Louisa May Alcott employed symbolism to explore society's treatment of men and women.

Symbolism in The Snows of Kilimanjaro research papers discuss the symbols found in Ernest Hemingway's book.

Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire research papers show that the main characters of Tennessee Williams' play are symbols.

Symbolism of the Raft in Huckleberry Finn research papers analyze the raft as a symbol of freedom in Mark Twain's famous novel.

Moby Dick Symbolism Research Papers look at an example of a paper order that gives the choice of doing an argumentive or survey method thesis in the paper, and tell you how to do it.

Symbolism in Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck included numerous symbols in The Grapes of Wrath. Various types of animals, for instance, play important roles in the novel.

Symbolism in Catcher in the Rye - As a quintessential piece of American literature, Catcher in the Rye has been studied time and time again, looking at themes, setting, characterization, and, most importantly, symbolism.

Symbolism in the Great Gatsby - As one of the timeless novels of the 20th century, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald provides great insight into the life of the author as well as of the society in which he lives.

Symbolism in The Old Man and the Sea - Hemingway claimed to have written without intending symbols, although he did not mind if people found their own symbols in his work.

Symbolism in The Red Badge of Courage - Symbolism in Red Badge of Courage term paper examines Stephen Crane’s use of symbolic writing.

Symbolism in The Hobbit - The Hobbit is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Tolkien never differentiated between the two works to suggest that one might contain symbolism while the other did not.

Symbolism in Animal Farm - As one of the most profound pieces of literary political commentary, George Orwell’s Animal Farm contains a host of essential symbols within its pages.

Anna Karenina and Symbolism - The expensive horse, which Vronsky unintentionally ruins during the officer’s race, is a clear symbol for the relationship between Anna and Vronsky.

As I Lay Dying Symbolism - William Faulkner’s book is about a family’s journey to fulfill Addie’s dying wish, the story is expressed through symbolism.

Symbolism in Crime and Punishment - As one of the most prolific writers of the 19th century, Fyodor Dostoevsky incorporates a number of complex symbols into his writing, each of which has the ability to represent a number of deep political, social, and religious issues.

Symbolism in Bleak House - As one of Charles Dickens’s most complex stories, Bleak House contains in its pages many different characters and subplots.

Symbolism in Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder, uses symbolism to celebrate the past.

Symbolism in Catch-22 - Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 is a satirical novel that critiques unregulated capitalism and the power and control exercised by modern bureaucracies.

Symbolism in David Copperfield - In any quality piece of literature, there are numerous symbols that run the gamut from the large to the small.

Symbolism in Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier’s Gothic novel Rebecca uses names as symbols of strength and weakness.

Symbolism in Wuthering Heights - Writing on one of the greatest love stories of all times offers many opportunities to explore 19th Century symbolism.