When the majority of the story takes place on a quest across Middle-earth, why focus on the Shire in the prologue? Waisco states, “The Ring Quest is macrocosmic as it affects and is affected by events concerning all of Middle-earth, but microcosmic with respect to the narrative since it exists within the larger text of the Shire Quest” (Waisco). This “Shire Quest” is something he refers to often within his article to describe the more detailed aspects the destruction of the Ring of Power causes a society. Overall, Waito is differentiating between a large scoped issue and a smaller scoped issue, one which he associates with the Shire society itself. Only through the larger conflict, the Ring Quest, are the four central Hobbits able to gain the skills and outsider perspective necessary to rehabilitate and save the Shire. When the Hobbits return to the Shire they are shocked to find that their society has been co...
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... Havens with the elves indicates this change, while simultaneously allowing the rest of the Hobbits to move onto their own new lives. This is shown through the statement, “hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of Middle-earth, and the sound of them sank deep into his heart. Beside him stood Merry and Pippin and they were silent” in conjunction with the final line of the chapter, “he drew a deep breath. ‘Well I’m back,’ he said” (Return 339-340). Sam is recognizing the absence of Frodo with a sense of sadness, but also continues on to recognize that a new chapter of his life is about to begin with Rosie. In his attempt to replicate the true narrative of a life, “Tolkien knows the reader will understand that the return merely marks a new departure and a new ‘journey’ of the ‘hero,’ once begun again and again, endlessly without stop” (Chance 138).
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