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Unpublished Paper
Smeagol Versus Gollum: The Bridge Between Fantasy and Reality
  • Courtney C. Randall, Salve Regina University

Many literary critics have observed Tolkien’s work through biographical, allegorical, and source analyzing perspectives. Scholars have connected events in his literary works with events from the author’s life, but few have considered the significance of Gollum in the plot of The Lord of the Rings and his greater purpose in Middle Earth. Gollum is not what he seems and the complexity of his character can be revealed through a Jungian lens. Although he is a fictional character, he may not be so far removed from reality. This character’s split personality, as determined by the Ring, presents what could eventually become of man if he is not strong enough to resist that which has the potential to consume him. In other words, the worst version of human desire is presented through Gollum and his internal conflict.

Why did Tolkien include such a character in his trilogy? Gollum may have a bigger role in The Lord of the Rings, for good or ill, than even Gandalf predicts. Gollum presents the human quality of the conflicting Anima and Animus, or masculine and feminine imbalance within his character, and also exhibits the Shadow archetype. This imbalance turns Sméagol into the physically ambiguous creature that is introduced in The Hobbit. It is his internal conflict that ultimately takes Gollum out of Middle Earth and strikes a commonality between reality and fictional character. Furthermore, he provides a new perspective of one’s “myth” or higher purpose and actualization. Gollum presents the depth of personal human battles and bridges the gap between the fantasy of Middle Earth and our world.

Publication Date
Spring May, 2013
This is the latest manuscript.
Citation Information
Courtney C. Randall. "Smeagol Versus Gollum: The Bridge Between Fantasy and Reality" (2013)
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