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im doing a very important paper for english class on the Two Towers and i was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of critics reviews or by your own thoughts on frodos innocence in the book, please reply
What do you mean by innocent? He took the Quest onto himself (although there was an unspoken pressure on him). He only ever used the Ring when there were Ringwraiths right next to him, or when he was standing two and a half feet from the place the Ring was wrought! His final breakdown at the Sammath Naur was not his, but the Ring's fault.
I wouldn't be so fast to say that Frodo was totally innocence and goodness in LoTR. First off I would cite the way he perceived Bilbo as a greedy clawing wrinkled old thing. The ring can exert it's influence for survival (Isildur's bad choice to keep it for example) but it's existence was threatened in that seen at all. That was Frodo's lust for the ring there (it could be argued). Also, the fact that he took it up to take it to Mordor was noble and impressive, but it also allowed him to keep a hold of the thing for the duration of the trek. One last note, and I wish I could remember where I saw it written, but my memory tells me that Tolkien wrote somewhere that it was a key point that Frodo failed in his quest, that the human condition is such that it cannot defeat evil at it's strongest (one need only look as far the history of the Noldor to see that theme expressed over and over). I'm not saying Frodo was a villain or a greedy little monster, but no one that kept the ring (maybe Sam is the exception?) stayed innocent.
Oh, and I would think that Frodo not using the ring doesn't show his innocence, just his streghth of will. Sauron is exerting his will on the ringbearer, via the Nazgul and various other means, to put on the ring and thus to be found. Frodo not putting on the ring means he keeps it and stays hidden for the time being.
Just some thoughts.
I agree on the religious approach to hobbits. I also have read that they were meant to be the child-like innocent folk that Jesus hinted on being a model. Tolkien was a devote catholic.
Also, Frodo's innocence allows him to stay out of the ring's influence long enough.
His deep innocence lays on the fact that all the ring allows him is to become invisible. Being devoid of all "grown up" ambition, he doesn't get any kind of terrible power, nor any wild ideas about conquering the world, at least until the end.
That's why Gandalf refuses to even touch it, being him everything but innocent.
But innocence is not invulnerability to malice and ambition, just its absence. He is exposed to it every day that he carries the damned thing, until he nearly fails in the end.
Are all hobbits innocent? Perhaps, even the characters that yield to Saruman in the end of the Return of the King, do so in a very naive way.
As I was saying, innocence is not invulnerability to malice, and some hobbits are more vulnerable to it, it appears.
But the quantity of weak hobbits appears to be incredibly small.
A look at their society and peaceful way of life, the almost absence of government, their egalitarian organization is a clear indication that most of them are pretty innocent.
Originally posted by The Dark Walker Frodo in my mind is the most innocent in the book and only ever used the ring to help his friends or escape from danger and never needlessly killed. Not much help, sorry.