Literary Analysis

Looking at how small parts affect the whole

The Lord of the Rings Literary Analysis exerpt

The follow is a excerpt from sample of a literary analysis paper for the Lord of the Rings by Joisie Fenner:

Charters defines setting as "the place and time of the story." Also according to Charters, "When the writer locates the narrative in a physical setting, the reader is moved along step by step toward acceptance of the fiction" (Charters 1008).

Tolkien’s setting gives the reader a sense of goodness or malevolence. Unlike an environment that is removed from the work, Tolkien’s setting sometimes is the story. Possibly the setting could even tell the story if there were no characters. For example, in the house of Elrond of the elves, Frodo's experience is defined by the setting. "He [Frodo] found his friends sitting in a porch on the side of the house looking east. Shadows had fallen in the valley below, but there was still a light on the faces of the mountains far above. The air was warm. The sound of running and falling water was loud, and the evening was filled with a faint scent of trees and flowers, as if summer still lingered in Elrond’s gardens (220).

This describes a peaceful place that is not quite reality. The rest of the world is moving into winter, but Elrond’s gardens haven’t realized that yet. Next, is another example of how Tolkien uses setting to create a picture that could not be obtained by just explaining the scenery. Tolkien is able to bring a place to life with words. We can see this when the Fellowship winds up going through the Mines of Moria.

The Company spent that night in the great cavernous hall, huddled close together in a corner to escape the drought: there seemed to be a steady inflow of chill air through the eastern archway. All about them as they lay hung the darkness, hollow and immense, and they were oppressed by the loneliness and vastness of the dolven halls and endlessly branching stairs and passages. The wildest imaginings that dark rumor had ever suggested to the hobbits fell altogether short of the actual dread and wonder of Moria (307).


The writer looked at how aspects of the book affect or contriibute to the overall plot of message the author is trying to portray.