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The Two Towers

J. R. R. Tolkien
Summary Book IV, Chapter 6
Summary Book IV, Chapter 6

Tolkien often uses techniques of literary flashback and flash-forward that keep us in tune with the overall course of the novel, rather than sweeping us away in the drama of the moment. When Faramir, for instance, tells Frodo that he would like to find out how Gollum came to possess and then lose the Ring, we are reminded of that sequence of events as it transpired in The Hobbit and was recounted in The Fellowship of the Ring. Furthermore, Faramir says that perhaps one day, when he and Frodo are old, Frodo can tell him Gollum’s story. This idea expands the novel’s horizon to the distant future, opening our imagination to what these characters will be like many years off. Tolkien gives us, then, more than just the hobbits’ quest to Mordor, but also a vast saga that stretches on far beyond the bounds of the novel.