[LMB] Ekaterin redux?

Pat Mathews mathews55 at msn.com
Tue Oct 13 14:19:01 BST 2015

> Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 23:40:48 -0400
> From: alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca
> To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
> Subject: [LMB] Ekaterin redux?
> On tor.com today, there is an opinion piece which complains that Frodo 
> Baggins is very ordinary, needs to be repeatedly rescued by his friends, 
> and becomes more and more inactive throughout LOTR.
> http://www.tor.com/2015/10/12/the-bane-of-banality-frodo-baggins/
> While the writer raises some good points, I personally think this is a 
> mis-reading of the character, the important choices he makes, and how 
> difficult the quest really is for him.
 Frodo's 'banality' was totally the point. He was, as many a writer has pointed out, an ordinary, hopelessly middle-class young Englishman called on to leave the familiar comforts of home and plunge into danger, difficulties, and sheer hell to defeat an evil which threatened everyone. A call he could probably have refused, and didn't. 

Anyone familiar with the English (and French etc...) history of the first half of the 20th Century would have some understanding of who Frodo was and what he was called on to do and why. Tolkien, born around 1890 or thereabouts, had a gut-deep understanding of it, from the trenches of the Western Front, through the wholesale destruction wrought by a madman in the halls of power across the seas, to the long, slow recovery that only ended in the moid-1950s for Britain. And quite ordinary people were hauled out of their comfortable, secure lives and sent to deal with it while, often enough, still in their teens. Twice. Don't knock it until you've been in their boots. Which I haven't, though my dad was, and did not want to talk about it.

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