By the Gates of the Garden of Eden on Amazon or at CreateSpace

Friday, October 24, 2014

Frodo had PTSD

What is PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)?

from here

PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of a life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or physical or sexual assault in adult or childhood. Most survivors of trauma return to normal given a little time. However, some people will have stress reactions that do not go away on their own, or may even get worse over time. These individuals may develop PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life.

Frodo as the wounded hero

from here

If you consider the One Ring as some kind of weird psychic amplifier that boosts your willpower and turns it to its own, then Frodo does extraordinarily well in reaching the Crack of Doom — one can only imagine what the Ring would have done in the hands of more strong-willed characters such as Galadriel, Aragorn, Gandalf, or Boromir.

What's more, the ordeal of the Ring haunts Frodo long after he returns to the Shire. And there, instead of being received as a hero, he's actually shunned in favor of his more boisterous companions Merry and Pippin, who are welcomed back as natural leaders. Although he is instrumental in saving the Shire from Sauron's domination, Frodo is never really able to be comfortable there again.

In this way, Frodo is a lot like war heroes who never become fully reintegrated on returning home and are ever after haunted by their war service. Tolkien certainly knew something about this, given that he was in the trenches of France during the First World War. He also undoubtedly encountered many such heroes after the Second World War, years during which he worked diligently on the writing of The Lord of the Rings.

Even as the other hobbits in the Fellowship find their places in the reconstructed Shire, Frodo remains alienated and often plagued by illnesses — which recur on the anniversaries of his encounter with the Ringwraith on Weathertop and his failure to destroy the Ring. Finally, upon completing his memoirs — the supposed source of The Lord of the Rings — he departs Middle-earth forever upon an Elven white ship, headed for the Blessed Realm.

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