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Themes

Perseverance basically means continuing on with a task or duty even if the going gets tough. And if there is one virtue Tolkien seems particularly to admire, it's perseverance. He <em>loves</em> characters who work their butts off even when they really don't want to continue. This might describe the entire Fellowship, in fact: the Company keeps going across rough terrain because they know they have to, to continue the Ring quest. But, if you think about it, the bad side also perseveres: in its hunt for Frodo. In the end, the characters' perseverance against the odds makes <em>The Fellowship of the Ring</em> a suspenseful read.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. Is perseverance always a virtue? How is perseverance thematically important to both the good and bad sides of the Ring quest?
  2. We have talked about the perseverance of individuals like Frodo, but is it possible for less tangible things (for example, ideas or histories) to persevere?
  3. How do Merry and Pippin demonstrate perseverance in accompanying Frodo to Rivendell? What are the rewards for their perseverance? What has inspired them to persevere on this quest?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The ages of the characters in The Fellowship of the Ring affects their level of perseverance. Younger characters are more likely to want to give up.

If Frodo decided to give up, the rest of the Fellowship would support his choice.

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