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The Two Towers

by: J. R. R. Tolkien

Suggested Essay Topics

1. Which of the main characters in The Two Towers changes the most throughout the course of the story? Does Frodo change by the end in any way?

2. Though Gollum is clearly hateful and scheming, Tolkien emphasizes a childish, even innocent side to Gollum as well. At times, the creature appears almost sympathetic. Why do you think Tolkien shows this soft side of Gollum?

3. Critics often note how few of the major characters in The Lord of the Rings are female. Why do you think Tolkien’s Middle-earth is so male dominated? Does the absence of women change the world in which the characters live?

4. Discuss the role of prophecy in the novel. Why are prophecies so important, but frequently also so vague?

5. Cooperation and fellowship figure prominently in the novel, as characters of many races cooperate in the war against Sauron. Conversely, characters who act on their own—Boromir, Saruman, and Sauron, for instance—often do so corruptly. Does this pattern imply that Tolkien is against individualism in general? Or is he only against a certain kind of individualism?