Study Guide

The Fellowship of the Ring Appearances

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Bilbo teaches us that "all that is gold does not glitter," but it's maybe even truer in The Fellowship of the Ring. Aragorn appears a lowly ranger when he is the heir to the throne of Gondor. The Ring is shiny but holds within it a mass of evil and malice.

But not all appearances are deceiving. Hobbits are homebodies, and their cute and shabby appearance reflects this. Elves are ethereal, and they look it. Orcs are as evil as they are hideous, and the Ring Wraiths are death personified.

Questions About Appearances

  1. How does the appearance of each race affect our perception of them?
  2. How are appearances used for deceit? Is the Ring the only example of hidden evil in seemingly harmless shell?
  3. When do appearances actually reflect a growing darkness or goodness with a character?

Chew on This

The fantasy genre always uses appearances to show the true nature of things.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, nothing is as it seems.

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