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TiggerBear
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

It seems to me that this was a very poor decision. I know Sam had many inner conflicts but he had already thought this through. He knew the consequences and in the end he chose revenge over saving the world.
-------------------------------------------------
I don't disagree with you, but it was what I was pins and needles hoping Sam would do.
And I absolutely agree that it was Sam's destiny guiding him. I just don't think he would have been able to do any less.
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lorien
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

You know I can accept the "faithful and devoted" servant idea in this setting, but I can't imagine this sort of relationship in a current world. A faithful friend is possible, but person who envisions himself as an inferior person whose major duty in life is to sacrifice himself for his "master" seems very foreign to me. That somehow his master's life and his master's will is the only important thing and his own feelings are unimportant and inferior.

I wonder how this might play out in a present time, or even a future time. I guess Sam would have to be an R2-D2.
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Dagor
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise



lorien wrote:
You know I can accept the "faithful and devoted" servant idea in this setting, but I can't imagine this sort of relationship in a current world. A faithful friend is possible, but person who envisions himself as an inferior person whose major duty in life is to sacrifice himself for his "master" seems very foreign to me. That somehow his master's life and his master's will is the only important thing and his own feelings are unimportant and inferior.

I wonder how this might play out in a present time, or even a future time. I guess Sam would have to be an R2-D2.




Lorien, you are sure right here, the "class system" of Britain was still in effect all through World War One, but really started its final decline with that society-altering conflagration. Now, even in Britain, Sam and his self-accepted "class role" would look quaint/ obsolete, perhaps a bit "disturbing." I think Tolkien was indulging in a bit of nostalgia here, and, of course idealizing the old class system by raising Sam's attitude to the level of a conscious, voluntary decision on his part to "serve" the needs of a recognized superior person -- in reality, I think, most servant-master relationships were based on sheer economic necessity? It does remind me how far/ fast attitudes have changed in the last 100 years, so that I can never quite feel comfortable with Sam's set of social assumptions regarding "inferior-superior" persons.
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TiggerBear
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

Lorien, you are sure right here, the "class system" of Britain was still in effect all through World War One, but really started its final decline with that society-altering conflagration. Now, even in Britain, Sam and his self-accepted "class role" would look quaint/ obsolete, perhaps a bit "disturbing." I think Tolkien was indulging in a bit of nostalgia here, and, of course idealizing the old class system by raising Sam's attitude to the level of a conscious, voluntary decision on his part to "serve" the needs of a recognized superior person -- in reality, I think, most servant-master relationships were based on sheer economic necessity? It does remind me how far/ fast attitudes have changed in the last 100 years, so that I can never quite feel comfortable with Sam's set of social assumptions regarding "inferior-superior" persons.
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Dagor
Have you watched a American western classic? The "camp buddy-old miner" role is exactly like Sam's role. They were made up until the sixties and only phased out due a growing race knowing way of our culture.
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

Hi, lorien! { and Everybody... }...---
 
As I once mentioned before [ in the "Hero" Thread ] - in all my earlier readings of LOTR, it always felt embarassing reading over the passages where Sam seemed to be fawning all over his "Master"...
And ( at least, to my younger mind, at the time ) especially uncomfortable were the scenes where Sam could be seen weeping over Frodo, kissing his hand, and so forth ...
 
Going over some of the story, I was struck how much more of a steady, smart, decisive and self-reliant hobbit Frodo was depicted to be [ especially compared to the Frodo in the movie - who seemed to be so completely bewildered and confused so much of the time - so helpless ] ---
than as I had somehow vaguely remembered him to be...
But [ in the book ] Sam is often presented as having an almost child-like mentality in comparison to Frodo's "smarts" - and Frodo's deeper understanding of things...
 [ although much of that "deeper knowledge" that Frodo seems to acquire more of, as the journey progresses, must be tied, somehow, to his bearing the Ring ]...
But, at the same time, Sam is also often presented as having a good store of plain common sense and also intuition - his feet are still more firmly planted in the earth, whereas Frodo's mind and spirit is progressively coming to exist half in and half out of that dreamy "other realm" ( where  the shadow-world of the Ring lies ) ...and it is often left to Sam to bring Frodo "Back down to earth" [ inadvertently ] with Sam's plain thinking, plain talking, and his earnestness, which sometimes is expressed in a way that makes him appear
as a clownish figure,  especially when he starts spouting all those rusticated maxims, humorous sayings, and various other "Sam-isms" ...
 
A wee bit more to follow later...
A.W.   
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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Dagor
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise



TiggerBear wrote:
Dagor
Have you watched a American western classic? The "camp buddy-old miner" role is exactly like Sam's role. They were made up until the sixties and only phased out due a growing race knowing way of our culture.




Excellent point, TiggerBear!

Ah, the "Old Sidekick" phenomenon! Gabby Hayes, California, Pancho, Pete on Fury, Ollie of the Tripple-R, Festus of Gunsmoke, and I suppose even Tonto... A "class" of (usually) comedic relief characters who lighten the mood of the "oaters" with their antics, mis-comprehensions, and well-meaning mistakes. Often they serve to convey the idea of the heroic-leads' superiority when compared to their own bungling efforts.

"Garsh, Mr Dillion (Hopalong, Cisco or Frodo will fit here as well), I been a thinkin' on dat all day, and nebbah coudda seen the light til you showed me!"

Of course JRRT would probably regard our comments as a bit one-sided, and, for his time and culture (late 19th century England), the "classism" displayed in LotR is fairly mild stuff* -- Sam is allowed to grow, to develop into a first class leader whose sterling commonsense opinions make him suitable to act as Mayor of the Shire some seven times in succession -- but still, there is the taint of a class-patronizing system of behaviour here that seems alien to 20th century U.S. minds with our insistence (right or wrong**) upon the independence of the individual?
_____________

*Just as Tolkien's racism is fairly mild stuff -- for his culture/ time...

** I think in our own culture we give a lot of lip-service to the ideals of rugged individualism, and equality, but still manage to come up with one of the most conformity-minded, docile gangs of follower-mentalities on the planet?

____________

Yeah, Ardo, some of the "fawning" nature Sam displayed left me uncomfortable as well...
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

I seem to remember reading somewhere [ it could easily have been here, at the Book Club ] that the way Tolkien viewed the relationship between Frodo and Sam was as being similar to the relationship between the British Soldier/Officer and his "Batman" ( or Servant/Aide )
[ but not Bruce Wayne, Batman ] --
There may have even been instances ( in real life ) where the "Batman" role went beyond that of merely being a servant, and that the Batman may have ( at times ) had the opportunity to save the life of their "Master" - or ( at the very least  )  that there could be a strong bond of loyalty and comaderie between the Officer and his Batman that might develop in the midst of the deprivations and horrors of war that they were experiencing in the trenches or on the battlefield...
You can see aspects of that kind of relationship "translated" into the relationship between Frodo [ "Officer" ]
and Sam [ "Batman" ]...
Frodo is the one who has the "Battle-Plans" in his head - the maps of the terrain and the objectives of the mission commited to his memory - and Sam has that fierce loyalty to his "Immediate Superior" - and his courage and his stamina to contribute to the cause - besides which, he is also there to help keep Frodo from simply losing his mind in the middle of all that oppressiveness and horror that they are both "walking right into"
[ similar to the experience of the soldiers in WWI ? ] --
The strong bond of their companionship is what gives both of them the strength to carry on, and helps keep them from losing their minds ( either one of them... ) ---
A.W.
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

I meant "comraderie" [ not "comaderie" ] - of course...
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
TiggerBear ---
 
The idea of that "Old Miner/Camp Buddy" struck a chord in my mind, as well - especially considering those kind of characters ( sort of like Sam ) often seem to full of folksy sayings, par-tick-yoo-larry corny speech, and tend to be superstitious, or sometimes ornery, stubborn and etcetera...
But then, they often prove themselves to be a lot more savvy than they might appear to be at first glance, or might turn out to be the one who "saves the day" ( in spite of their own ineptitudes ) - or else, their "words of warning" might  turn out to be something the others should have paid more attention to, after all...
And, most of all, this kind of character is much more complex - and thereby winds up becoming much more interesting ( and "lovable" as well ) to the audience, as compared to the "Handsome Hero" [ the one with the perfect bearing, the perfect manners, the perfect speech, the perfect clothes, etcetera... ] ---
 
A.W.
   
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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Dagor
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapters 7-10

[ Edited ]
For those who do not have a copy of Tolkien's Letters, here is JRRT's take on Sam:

"Sam is meant to be lovable, and laughable. Some readers he irritates and even infuriates. I can well understand it. ... But Sam can be very 'trying'. He is a more representative hobbit than any others that we have to see much of; and he has consequently a stronger ingredient of that quality which even some hobbits found at times hard to bear: a vulgarity -- by which I do not mean a mere 'down-to-earthiness' -- a mental myopia which is proud of itself, a smugness (in varying degrees) and cocksureness, and a readiness to measure and sum up all things from a limited experience, largely enshrined in sententious traditional 'wisdom'. ... Sam was cocksure, and deep down a little conceited; but his conceit had been transformed by his devotion to Frodo. He did not think of himself as heroic or even brave, or in any way admirable -- except in his service and loyalty to his master. That had an ingredient (probably inevitable) of pride and possessiveness: it is difficult to exclude it from the devotion of those who perform such service. In any case it prevented him from fully understanding the master that he loved, and from following him in his gradual education to the nobility of service to the unloveable and of perception of damaged good in the corrupt. He plainly did not understand Frodo's motives or his distress in the incident of the Forbidden Pool. If he had understood better what was going on between Frodo and Gollum, things might have turned out differently in the end. For me perhaps the most tragic moment in the Tale comes in II 323 ff. when Sam fails to note the complete change in Gollum's tone and aspect. 'Nothing, nothing', said Gollum softly. 'Nice master!' His repentance is blighted and all Frodo's pity is (in a sense) wasted. Shelob's lair became inevitable." (Letter #246, Sept. 1963, pp. 329- 330)

Later in this Letter, JRRT surmises that if Gollum had not been "pushed" back into the path of evil by Sam's mistake, Gollum would most probably have become a true companion in the quest, though still lusting after the Ring:

"Though the love [between Gollum and Frodo] would have been strengthened daily it could not have wrested the mastery from the Ring. I think that in some queer twisted and pitiable way Gollum would have tried (not maybe with conscious design) to satisfy both. Certainly at some point not long before the end he would have stolen the Ring or taken it by violence (as he does in the actual Tale). But 'possession' satisfied, I think he would then have sacrificed himself for Frodo's sake and have voluntarily cast himself into the fiery abyss." (Letter #246, Sept. 1963, p. 330)

Message Edited by Dagor on 07-01-2008 11:29 AM
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TiggerBear
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

Ardo

Batman is a cricket(the sport) term. You probably knew this already though.(smile)
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

Hi TiggerBear ! ---
 
Actually, I didn't know that!.... But I assume you mean "Batman" is a "Cricket" term as well as having that other meaning that I described ( that of the British Military Officer's Servant/Aide )? ... Because the term "Batman" does have that meaning ,as well....Perhaps the British incorporated/adopted what was originally a Cricket term for use also in their military nomenclature, as well... ( That  sounds like a good possibility/probability,even )...
 
 Ardo
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
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Ardo Whortleberry
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TiggerBear
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Re: TTT: Book 4: Chapter 10. The Choices of Master Samwise

Indeed, just the way there is a Army and a Navy football team. Because of is popular in our country. So does the British military love cricket.
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