One Step More - The Heroism of Frodo Baggins

Author: ConnieMarie

Nominator: Antane

2008 Award Category: Genres: Non-Fiction: Character Studies - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Non-Fiction  ✧  Length: N/A

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: This is an essay which contrasts the macho, musclebound strength of most action heroes with the gentle, inner strength of Frodo Baggins.

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Reviewed by: nancylea  ✧  Score: 10

i hope you understand the fact that you made it here to be voted on says something about your work (even more if you are not self nominated). this is a caterogy that i have little or no contact with. i worried that i would be out of my depths. while some of your competeters were more aloof and nearly unreadable your work shows that not only do you walk the walk you talk the talk. perhaps we should start calling this a new genre of hero. you have action heroes, you have anti-heros, why don't we call frodo the anthem hero. he doesn't need to fight the fight, he needs to avoid the fight, it isn't that he doesn't care about what happens to the world (my view of anti-), its that he cares too much about too many. he wants every note, every syllable to be perfect and clear so that everyone gets to live a simple life, without land disputes and turf wars. sure occasionally you need to clarify a boundary but mostly we just see hobbits farming the land and tending their flocks. you write a detailed and logical paper that while not every earning you millions should make you friends of billions. you give your opinion and you never say this is the only way it should be just that its the way you see it. realizing that noone else ever stands in your shoes the way you do may help you to become rich and famous in what ever course you plot for your life. good luck and keep looking through your glasses the rose colored ones are over rated.

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 10

This has been one of my favorite essays about Frodo Baggins for years. No, not at all a one or even two-dimensional hero--Frodo is a hero for the ages, and precisely because he is so human, going on in the end not for the promise of glory and the girl--he has no thought for the one and never gets the second save in the imaginations of some of us who wish he'd had that joy--but solely because IT needed getting rid of. He'd accepted the task, and would see it through no matter what, and so kept taking that one additional step, and then the next one additional step, until at last, helped and even at times carried along the way physically as well as emotionally, he stands at the brink within the Sammath Naur. And the reasons for ConnieMarie's appreciation for this and how heroic it truly is I find compelling--I who have spent so many years working in special education, who have lived with and loved so many who are less than whole physically, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually at times. I've known the frustrations, the griefs, and the pain, physical as well as emotional, of struggling to bring someone to fuller awareness; and have had often to find my reward in such apparently small gains--the delight of accomplishment when a student suddenly grasps a concept struggled at for weeks or the relief as a client realizes she can still do what she did yesterday in spite of the deterioration her condition imposes, or the sudden smile of comfort offered by one who is struggling just to stay alive a bit longer. Yes, I, too, honor Frodo Baggins--and Sam--for what the two of them accomplished in seeing all those steps taken so the Creator could bring from it all such a triumph. Frodo is my kind of hero also.

Reviewed by: Antane  ✧  Score: 5

This is a wonderfully written and moving essay on why so many people love Frodo and how he has inspired others to continue down the Road despite their trials. Since he endured his with grace, they find they can endure theirs. It points out in many convincing ways why he is so admirable and worthy of love and respect. I have this taped up on my bedroom wall and just recently re-read it and continue to be moved by it. That is the power of the love and admiration we all have who love him for his sacrifices, efforts and just for being him! Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Reviewed by: Inkling  ✧  Score: 5

This essay should be required reading for anyone--inside or outside the fandom--who "doesn't get" the appeal of Frodo. It's not the unrestrained gushing of a rabid fan but rather a rational, clear-eyed, footnoted analysis of the nature of Frodo's heroism, contrasted with popular culture's predominant action heroes. ConnieMarie explains it better than I ever could, with elegant clarity and simplicity, and in deeply moving personal terms. She expresses what I think many of us feel but may not have clearly articulated, even to ourselves: how a character in a work some dismiss as escapist fantasy (be it Frodo or so many others in Tolkien's world) can be such a profound real-life comfort or inspiration.

Reviewed by: stefaniab  ✧  Score: 5

This essay is more moving than you would expect a nonfiction piece to be. Connie Marie draws comparisons and parallels among action heroes, Frodo Baggins, and real people with great problems. The essay makes the case that small heroes, though not the stuff of archetypes, are more the types of people (and hobbits) that we can relate to. We can use Frodo's horrendous quest and dogged determination as inspiration for moments in our lives that are full of trials. In these trying times, the conclusion that the essay draws is particularly uplifting.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 5

I loved this essay as the points the writer makes about Frodo are the reasons I love LOTR. Frodo is a hero we can identify with who suffers and feels and does not engage in empty macho gestures. I think the point about Hobbits not being afraid to show affection towards friends could equally well apply to Aragorn, also a brave hero of a different kind to Frodo. I liked the author's conclusion that many were afriad to like Frodo as he suffers in a realistic way and endures in the same way that many of us do,just trying to do our best. A very well written essay.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 5

ConnieMarie has produced a tender, lovely tribute to a True Hero, wherein she deftly explores the undeniable impact that this individual can have upon the psyches of others. The author entertainingly defines just what qualifies as heroism - a heroism, in particular, that most of us can relate to. (I easily connected with her examples; we obviously come from the same generation. *g*) She follows this up with a movingly-illustrated dissection of Frodo's specific qualities that speak most clearly to her - and by extension, to any of us who experience suffering and setbacks in life. It's all tied together with an effective and clear writing style that I enjoyed tremendously on its own merits.

Reviewed by: Tanaqui  ✧  Score: 4

ConnieMarie presents a fascinating exploration of why Frodo offers a different model of heroism to that in much mainstream culture – and shows why that is dismissed by some but appeals to many more of us. In an often personalised discussion, she shows how this character in a "fantasy" novel resonates with the way we experiences our own lives. Very thought-provoking!

Reviewed by: Cathleen  ✧  Score: 3

I am so in awe of another of Connie Marie's beautiful essays that I don't know quite what to say here, other than this is extraordinary, her insight into the character is exceptional, and her writing simply blows me away!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 3

This wonderful essay explores why we love the character of Frodo Baggins, and what makes his heroism so different from that of other heroes of popular culture. A touching and thoughtful essay.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: 2

This essay shows Frodo's courage and determination well - I hadn't thought of it in these terms, but I can see Frodo's relevance to modern (wo)man much better. Nice work.