The Ring as a Symbol of Evil in J. R. R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings'

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Power, despair, corruption, all are conceived by the ring of power, the one ring that’s sole purpose is to bring evil to the world and destroy the race of man. In the epic novel “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” by J. R. R. Tolkien, the author uses the ring as a symbol of evil that corrupts almost every soul it encounters. Tolkien carefully uses the ring to symbolize how even the smallest objects can cause so much pain and death and bring fear to the hearts in Middle Earth (setting in the book). The ring lies in the heart of the story, giving temptation to almost every character it crosses or has crossed and even transforming once thought to be harmless folk into the most twisted and sinister villains. The separation…show more content…
Because of this, Sméagol’s nature, his very character, soul, and embodiment is changed by the ring. As an object of evil, the ring strives to destroy a person’s free will and transform them into a host of evil. Tolkien states that the ring will corrupt whoever is in possession of it. This gives the idea of imprisonment for the soul purpose of fulfilling the rings goal, destruction. As Sméagol continues his obsession over the ring, it eats away at him and overpowers any individualism he once had.
Tolkien creates the ring as the epitome of evilness to give it a mind of its own. With this symbolism, the ring is able to maneuver itself and corrupt whom it pleases. It takes on the evilness of the beholder and enhances their evil thoughts to the point in which evilness is the only thought that consumes them. As described by another hobbit, Frodo, the ring has “an unwholesome power that sets to work on its keeper at once.” In Sméagol’s instance, the ring is able to take a strong hold of his soul with just a look at “the bright and beautiful” gold that it entails. Such evilness is personified by Tolkien because Tolkien sees it as something that takes action, not something that is acted upon. The power that the ring possesses eats away at him until he is an entire different creature. The ring destroys Sméagol and creates Gollum, an outcast and a murderer. The theme of temptation displayed by Tolkien coincides with the temptation that evilness
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