Anl. Feminism in BBC’s Musketeers

Another show with fantastic female characters is the BBC’s Musketeers. At first glance, one would assume the show would have weakly portrayed women because of its name. The series is focused on the relationships between the main four Musketeers.  However, this adaptation does things differently through its portrayal of: Constance, Milady, and Queen Anne.

 

Constance Bonacieux

It’s fascinating that Constance in this show is married. She is unhappy about the marriage, it is slowly suggested, as she goes on adventures with D’Artagnan and the Musketeers. For example, she helps with the escape of young Prince Henry, Louie’s nephew. She even helps fight men throughout the series.

She takes charge of her own destiny when she openly asks D’Artagnan to, “Teach me how to shoot.”  And, she is not a beginner, either. She is shown as strong and capable. She kicks butt.

But, it is not just her physical abilities that are impressive. I love that she longs for adventure. She tells D’Artagnan, “Things were quiet before you got here, monsieur.” When he apologizes for this, she says that she doesn’t miss it for a minute!

In fact, D’Artagnan understands that part of his charm is that he can help her have a life full of adventure.

Milady De Winter

The most obvious feminist figure on this show is probably Milady De Winter. She is unattached to anyone, and focuses on her own wellbeing. She is a rogue agent for the most part. Sure, she follows the orders of the Cardinal, but she also has her own way with the Musketeers, particularly Athos and D’Artagnan. Plotting for revenge, she is often shown as an angry force to be reckoned with.

From her attempts to get Athos killed to her assassination of various political figures, it is impressive to see such a remarkable strong woman at such an old time.

She is a fascinating figure as she somehow built her image, her rank, and networked her way through royalty. What can you not love about Milady?

Queen Anne

Anne takes charge of her world through her ruling. She is very sensible, and often clashes with Louie and the Cardinal. She is analytical and clever, questions Louie’s mother, and in general grows into her own reign with strength.

I like that her love life reflects this strength. While infidelity is not synonymous with strength, I do think she has more control of her life than the average woman at the time did. She chooses to be with Aramis and chooses to keep his child. She chooses to be a strong-willed queen and not be ruled by her husband, who says that “I have never seen a woman with so many opinions.”

Your turn:

What do you think of the presentation of women in BBC’s Musketeers? Do you have any favorite characters on the show? Favorite relationships? Share in the comments!

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Community is a show that is amusing, sure, but it is also about growth and development.

Anl: Paper Towns and Coming of Age

Paper Towns is one of my favorite stories. Like many of John Green’s works, Paper Towns involves a lot of complicated themes. In it, there is a discussion regarding analysis, imagining people complexly, and accepting the diversity of people.
Wheels are Turning

I find the beginning of Margo and Quentin’s friendship telling regarding the theme of analysis and its importance. When facing the dead man left in the park, she openly investigates the case. Margo Roth Spiegleman is already displaying analytical skills.

Rather than dismissing the death of a man, she imagines him, his life, his struggles, and says, “All the strings inside him broke.” Not focusing on his outward appearance, she thinks of  the “strings” inside him.

She lives with this skill in mind. From not understanding the basic approaches to adulthood through Q, she diverts from traditional paths to happiness.

When Q tells her, “Duke in the fall, go to med school, and become an oncologist,” she replies, “Isn’t there something that can make you happy now?”

As Q tries to understand her better, he finds her own copy of Leaves of Grass by Whitman, a piece all about the complexity of person-hood and individuality. She circles, “I contain multitudes.” Don’t we all?

Through her adventure with Q, she is humanizing the popular kids by providing Q with background information on them. From Jase cheating on her with her friend, to Lacey confronting his perception of her and sharing the rumors people say about her, to the myth of Margo, John Green brings a sense of realism to the way people perceive as “better”

“Everything is uglier up close,” she tells him. By the end of the story, he realizes how true this statement is. Lacey doesn’t think Margo is that good of a friend. Q wonders if she ever left him any clues to find her, or if she was simply telling him she’s okay.

 

Unattainable Love

Part of the story’s charm is the focus on unattainable women. From Ben’s infatuation with Q’s mother, to his growing affection towards Lacey, and then finally to his maturity as someone fairly comfortable with being single, Paper Towns is ultimately the story of demystifying the manic pixie dream girl. This image of a girl so out of reach, so perfect, so complicated, is given a more realistic form.

The same idea applies to Angela, a girl that Radar hides a huge part of his identity from. He doesn’t talk about the black Santas in his home and doesn’t let her come over. Furthermore, he doesn’t let her talk to his friends that much.

When she does find out his secret, she talks of how Santa is a construct, much like every perception we have about others. And, constructs are meant to be challenged.

Perceptions as Constructs

It begins with Q assuming that his “miracle” was Margo Roth Spiegleman. He assumes that, “Margo always loved mysteries. Maybe she loved them so much, she became them.”

But, by the end of the movie and novel, he realizes that she is just a girl, not a mystery to be solved or a myth to be followed. In fact, he realizes that the story is hers to tell, not his. He says, “what a treacherous thing it is to believe that  a person is more than a person. Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventurer. She was not some fine, precious things. She was a girl.”

Not only this, but she also tells him that she felt just as papery as the paper town she lived in–past and present.

In addition, he realizes that his miracle is his friends and the experiences they shared.  He understands that the lesson is to notice the miracles as they come in life, “that doesn’t mean we won’t have amazing adventures, meet exceptional people, and make indelible memories. The trick is to notice before it’s too late.”

Being stuck and sad makes reading, sleeping, eating, drinking, praying difficult. Everything is hard then.
1.What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?  Maze Runner,  The Gemma
Today, a box of books appeared on our front step, which is probably the most

BR: Depression and Art in Hold Still

“The sun stopped shining for me is all. The whole story is: I am sad. I am sad all the time and the sadness is so heavy that I can’t get away from it. Not ever.” –Nina LaCour, Hold Still.

Accuracy in the Complications 


It is very rare for an author to capture the pains of being suicidal and misunderstood. It is hard to convey this isolation, the desperate attempts to find glimmers of hope, the guilt for not being okay. Yet, LaCour achieves these feats with grace and honest understanding. It’s so matter of fact, this loneliness depression Ingrid has. There is no “justification” going on and I was so grateful for that, because mental illness is not something to reason with. It just exists and seeps the life out of you. Ingrid’s self-harm, her sadness, her despair: all are presented as valid. Caitlin never blames her friend for feeling this way. If anything, she mostly struggled with how she didn’t do anything to help, which is a powerful message to have in a book aimed at young adults. It’s interesting to read, because I was at this point before, and just taken to a hospital, so my life was spared. But, I remember the note-writing and the research. It is unfortunate that some people write about self-harm methods and techniques, about suicide ways. In a way, this book offers a suggestion: consider the impact you have on others since you don’t operate in a vacuum. 

Caitlin

This leads me to Caitlin, who was just reeling from the loss of her best friend. She is not annoying about it, but she is grieving and struggling to understand, which makes sense. I never was the friend who wanted to save a life. I was kind of too overwhelmed by my own self that I just didn’t ever read someone’s journals or see signs of a struggle, and that makes the book even more powerful because I could learn a thing or two from Caitlin. She’s empathic and brave. I love how she reaches out to Dylan repeatedly, and chooses her to be a friend. Choosing your friends is important as hell. It is so crucial to be in control of who gets to be in your life. It’s your life. Be careful who you pick. I like the role art plays in Caitlin’s life, because it truly brings her character to maturity and understanding. She processes her identity through Ingrid’s portraits of her. In a way, I wish I could have an Ingrid to show me who I am, because, seriously, mental illnesses can hijack your sense of self. People can be limiting, and simplistic. 

Ms. Delani


Ms. Delani hit very close home because I was once a teacher, and I remember the responsibility of the position. I remember looking for signs of trouble, I remember reaching out to people, and I remember being shut out many times. But, I can’t even imagine the loss of a student. That is so difficult to process, especially when they are so engaged and talented–they leave traces around your life for good. I like that she is portrayed as a pained person who uses photography to get through the pain of the vacancy. 


Photography, friendship, love, family, are all used as vehicles to cope with loss and pain, and I think that is a wonderfully inspiring thing to read. It’s also the hardest, most honest thing you can suggest to someone with mental illness. Reach out, throw yourself into something that helps you express the pain. For some, it is photography. Caitlin saw the world differently behind the lens. She gave Ingrid a home through the pictures (and through pictures, Ingrid did the same for her best friend). Maybe it is simply creating (the tree house was a great idea, too). I like Taylor being understanding and sweet. I like Dylan and Maddy. Not like, love, and I haven’t feel this full emotionally and mentally since
The Fault in Our Stars. 

I have been thinking a lot about how much things have changed for me over
When I approached Since You've Been Gone, I slacked and hesitated. Then, one night, I
Part of having an online presence is this weird isolation from real life, whatever that

Your Older Sister: On Therapy and Its Benefits

 

I have been in therapy since mid 2012. I remember the fear and anxiety of starting it. There’s such a huge stigma against getting help, or even addressing mental illness. But, as I worked my way through therapy, I have found a way to get the best out of it (for more on that, check this out).

I have been thinking a lot about therapy and its benefits, so I thought I’d share what I have noticed its effects.

1. Refocus the Brain

I remember assuming the worst out of people. My brain jumped straight into anger and judgment. I knew I didn’t want to be like this, but didn’t know how to break away. Moreover, I was self harming and couldn’t think of a better way to cope.

Therapy shifted my thought process because we discuss how I think often. The more you go to therapy, the more you’ll notice the cycles you fall into when faced with stress.

2. Reflection Time

Another benefit of therapy is that it gives you a chance to reflect on your thoughts and actions. You start to see patterns in the way you behave. It also gives you a chance to look back on incidents in your life. You start to look deeply at what you thought was just a normal day (or not).

 

3. Giving you Language

For me, I started to find words to my unsaid emotions and thoughts. When you say things out loud and the therapist just tells you scientific terms for it, these emotions are validated. You start not to feel as weird as you thought.

 

You start to know what to call the feelings you feel. For example, I was diagnosed with OCD recently. So, now, when my compulsions act up, I can express exactly what is making me act “out of order.”

The same goes with anxiety and depression. You start to have the terminology to clearly examine your experiences.

4. Accountability

When you have someone to talk to about your issues, whatever they may be, a certain aspect of accountability is non-verbally set. My therapist often helps me come up with “homework” to try to achieve. Goal, if you may, can drive you towards a healthier approach to life. There is this person helping you chart your progress, too.

Before I met my current psychiatrist, I wasn’t able to sleep very well. I remember blaming it on hormones, but then my therapist would snap me out of this belief and help me see that it’s an ongoing issue. It helps a lot.

5. Complicating Things

Not only was I accountable for the way I act, but I also am pushed to think deeply about people. Before I got sick, I used to resort to judgment and suppressed anger–often thinly veiled in the guise of passive aggression.

The more I realized how complicated I am, I started to see that people in general have reasons for acting the way they do and that it is my job to be considerate of them, if I am asking them to be considerate towards me.

It’s all about give and take, sure, but I think mostly about being of service. I want to serve people and help them in any way I can.

6. Coping Mechanisms

I think of therapy as coaching. The more you do it, the more you try to apply the mechanisms mentioned throughout your sessions, the more likely you’ll find some techniques that work for you.

For example, I remember not being able to live without self-harm and suicidal tendencies (yes, I see the irony in that). But, the more I worked on other coping mechanisms, the more likely I was to apply them rather than resorting to my distorted thinking.

7. Finding a Purpose

Meaning, you find your place in the world, not depending on whatever qualifications you may have. Like, right now, I don’t work as a professor. But, I found that writing is what I can do given my health. It’s more satisfying right now. I get to teach in simpler yet grander ways.

8. Listening

Oh, how beautiful is it to have someone to listen to you for an hour. This is something I learned from therapy: listening helps. You can interject when the thought development process is flawed, sure. For the most part, supporting others helps a lot. Again, it goes back to feeling you have a purpose and that you are giving back to the community somehow.

I don’t think we ever have the total picture down, though, so I am open to people disagreeing obviously.

9. Nothing Repressed

The other thing I love about therapy is that the more you trust your therapist, the more you can let out the weirdest behaviors and feelings out. For instance, I was diagnosed with hypomania, which is never talked about usually. I used to think you’re either hardcore bipolar or straight up depressed. But, again, just like with people, you start realizing that mental health is complicated. We mostly fit on a grey spectrum, nothing too stark of a difference.

10. Addressing Phobias, Traumas, and Abuse

Coming from a series of traumas, I have to give this background to therapists. They will help you find a way to cope with these terrifying taboos. You get to express yourself openly in therapy and the more you let it out, the better you’ll feel.

I am not saying it’ll be sunshine after therapy. I still suffer from PTSD and it’s not going to go away because it’s part of my conditioning. But, you learn those coping mechanisms.

Your Turn

Have you ever tried therapy? What was it like for you? Share in the comments!

For More:

11 Intriguing Reasons to Give Talk Therapy a Try 

Top 10 Reasons to Try Therapy 

 

I wish therapy was discussed more in media, In doing so, it can be approached
I have had depression all my life--this ever-growing hollow feeling in my core. It's like
One of the most prominent voices you'll ever hear is your own. Self talk plays

Your Older Sister: On Getting the Most Out of Your Therapy Sessions

I wish therapy was discussed more in media, In doing so, it can be approached with better understanding. In turn, expectations can be adjusted to more realistic levels.
Therapy is a conversation between you and a licensed professional. However, I do want to posit that therapy is more of a form of self care. It is like meditation: it requires focus and precision. Moreoever, it requires a patience. Patience is necessary as it takes a lot of time and effort to find: a) the right therapist, b) the right pacing, c) the right balance of talking and listening, and, d)the right approach from participating parties.
Professional and Approachable

When looking for a therapist, it is crucial to find someone who is able to be approachable and professional at the same time. I have met doctors who were so detached and clinically cold, it was off putting and discouraging to talk to them at all. They scribbled notes, frowned the whole time, and some even jumped to conclusions and diagnoses. It is not bad to have a diagnosis (in fact, I strongly recommend asking for a diagnosis by the first two sessions).

Lifestyle

Next, you need to make sure the therapist you are working with is supportive of your lifestyle. I have encountered homophobic and racist therapists, unfortunately. Therapists, for the most part, tend to be upfront about their approaches and techniques. While in the mental hospital, I was exposed to a heavy dose of Judeo-Christian influences in our group therapy sessions and 12 Step Program.

Gender and religion sometimes can help when it comes to therapy.  Often, as an approach to trauma, doctors remind me of a bigger picture when it comes to my struggles, but, of course it depends on the patient–or as they refer to us: “clients.”

Pacing

Let’s talk about pacing. Therapy is all about give and take. You don’t want to go to a therapist without a plan. It’s very helpful to write down things you want to tackle in the session. You can make a mental note of topics and incidents you’d like to discuss. Sometimes, topics come up organically, and it’s very advisable to go with the flow in these instances. But, for the most part, it is your session, so please do take it seriously and take control. Steer conversations to hit on your troubles. The key is to ask questions so that you are not doing all the talking. Ask about your diagnoses and tendencies. After a while, you and your therapist will find there are prominent topics that ebb and flow through your life. Sometimes, it is bad habits (like negative self talk, or all or nothing thinking, and so on). At other times, it is illness-related issues, such as: trauma, assault, abuse, drug abuse, self harm, etc.

Try to create continuity from session to session by asking for required reading, videos, or homework. These things should help apply coping techniques discussed in therapy. If your therapist is not giving you coping techniques, ask them to. Remember, this is your session. It is up to you to make the most out of it.

Now, go get theraped.

Good luck.

  I have been in therapy since mid 2012. I remember the fear and anxiety
I want to expand on the idea of self care. In addition, I'd like to
In order to minimize the effects of collision the ground, it is helpful to try

Love, Rosie

If you ever want to experience a love story, a beautiful one at that, read on. I watched Love, Rosie because the trailers were just breathtaking. A story of two people missing each other over and over can be exhausting, but it is not the case for this film. It is a lovely story about two friends, best friends, who are not sure if there is more to their relationship than platonic love.

And, they go through relationships with other people, longing for each other, trying clasping hands and staying together in some form or another. The relationships are not negative in any way; there was no demonizing of anyone. I mean, there was cheating involved, but it did not make the people seem like bad people. They just didn’t work as a couple. That’s life.

Maybe this is why the film means so much to me: it is one of the few films that deal with my age group without making us sound like boring people. You don’t stop having feelings after you are eighteen. Unfortunately (or not), that is not how it works. Heartbreak is still a thing. Trust issues, clarity, confusion, agendas: these are all things we see in the film. We see what it means to find a soul mate, no matter what the age, no matter how quick it can happen.

There’s crying in this film; there is heartbreak, obviously, but there is also joy and beautiful, beautiful cinematography. Wonderful acting is another positive aspect of this film.

Guess what, though? I would not recommend the novel. It drags on and on. Just watch the beautiful film and enjoy a love story that doesn’t depress you.

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Romance and Sexuality in Pushing Daisies

One of my favorite series ever is Pushing Daisies, a show about a pie maker called Ned, who briefly raises people from the dead to solve their murders and bring them justice (and collect the reward, too. That can’t hurt, right?). This is his life until he has to unfold the death of his childhood sweetheart, who he touches to learn about her killers only to realize that he cannot part with her. In doing so, he brings her back to life for good, but with one caveat: he cannot touch her ever again.

Tone:

The show is sweet and charming. It has bright colors, sweet characters, and a PG plot. What makes it truly fascinating is its contribution to the ongoing conversation about sexuality and romance. In the absence of touchy feel-y moments, the show is surprisingly able to contain enough love to tide its audience over. In fact, it offers a rather satisfactory take on romance, where both parties rely on touching with gloves on, hugging in bulky suits, and kissing with saran wrap.

 

Different Take on Sexuality

At a time where sex is presented as a synonym for romance, this is starkly different. Ned, in general, is very shy and, given his background and magical abilities, he is not too crazy about touching people overall. And, Chuck respects that. She doesn’t glamorize his trauma. What’s really cool is that Ned’s powers are treated as very much part of him that Chuck learns to accept, much like someone’s sexual orientation (asexual, perhaps?) and sexual preferences. Yes, Chuck sometimes tries to find physical stand ins so she can pretend to hold Ned while holding their hands. But, she quickly learns that love doesn’t have to be physical.

sex isn’t synonymous with romance

In a way, the show divorces sex from romance, which opens up the dialogue about sexual orientations and preferences. It frees people and drops the expectation of intense physical contact as part of human relationships. It is the center and forefront relationship, which is quite unorthodox–and it makes the show stand out.

Your Turn: 

Are there any representations of asexuality in media that you like? Share in the comments!

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Anl.: A Birder’s Guide to Everything

A Birder’s Guide to Everything is a small movie with many credits to its accomplishments of brilliance. Well acted, beautifully shot, and wondrously written, the film spans over 86 minutes full of awesomeness. I thoroughly enjoyed it, to put it bluntly, because I felt that the film was executed well, but also because it has universal themes transcending age, race, and gender.

 

Nature and Its Beauty
David is a nerd. There is no denying this fact. His friends are in a birder club, where they talk about nothing but birds. Tim tells a disgruntled member of the club, “This is not a dating service” insinuating the seriousness of the club’s tone. Losing said part of the group, the trio are stuck with Ellen as they try to photograph an extinct duck. 
Obviously, nature plays a huge role in the film. The friends can be seen identifying birds by their physical features or their sounds. And while there is plenty of beautiful scenery in the film, there is also an understanding of nature’s cruelty presented. As a vegan, I interpret the death of the duck as a symbol of humanity’s ignorance and disrespect to all beings, really. 
 
In a way, though, this demise leads David to understand that his quest is not realistic. You can’t live a life watching birds without dealing with humans and all their baggage. We see this through his grief of his mother’s death, his father’s marriage, and the death of the duck. 
Adulthood and Maturity 
 
He also has to deal with the growing changes he and his friends face: adulthood and maturity. Throughout the film, Tim mocks Peter for not being brave enough. Tim was super interesting to me, because he reminded me of myself a bit…okay, a lot. The foul mouthed, show off, who is lying about his awesomeness resonates with me. Ellen is a challenger to his beliefs and attitudes as a young man trying to find his place in school’s society and in the grander scheme of things. He gives her grief throughout the story until the annoying birders attack her which is when he defends her, “Her name is Ellen.” The tension between them could be because he sees her as a sexually mature person, and it makes him uncomfortable. In addition, he does sense that she is interested in his best friend (David) and that is unnerving. 
 
Aside from all of this, it is a funny, poignant movie. It has beautiful relationships and endearing characters. Definitely one of my new favorites, for sure. 
 
 
 
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Mental Illness in the Hunger Games

I didn’t realize the connection I had with Katniss and Peeta as they experienced grief outside of the arena and after the war. It has taken me a while to understand how PTSD works, how anxiety and depression truly function. But, now, I feel a closer tie to these characters. I comprehend the messages in these stories even more than ever before. Katniss struggles to cope with the loss of Rue, of Prim, of Finnick, of so many people over the course of the stories. And, she feels so disconnected that she considers committing suicide.

Her hope is in Peeta. He is her dandelion in barren fields, the sunlight in a dark sky. He truly anchors her throughout the stories as she starts to trust him. But, even Peeta struggled to understand reality after being tortured by the Capitol. His “Real or not real” game with Katniss honestly reminds me of what it is like to have mental illnesses. When your mind is not well, it plays tricks on you. You cannot tell what is reality and what is pure paranoia.And, it becomes so confusing that all you can do is ask, sincerely, “Real or not real?”

Back to Katniss, who struggles to sleep, to use her bow and arrows, long after the games. If that is not a testament to how difficult PTSD is, I don’t what is. Yes, sure, she lives through the war, through the games (twice!), but even a strong girl like her is bound to break down. It’s only natural, honestly. But, it is also liberating to see that if a character like Katniss can get hurt by the things she faced, it is okay to go through the same thing. I am not saying that we all know what it’s like to go through wars; however, the struggles, the losses we experience are worthy of breaking us down at some point. Obviously, we have to fight. We have to be our own Mocking-jays, fight back the darkness, find the dandelions in our worlds. And, by the same token, our sunshine can falter and flicker. And, we need to be there for them. Support each other, and help get back up. That’s the best all of us we can do.

As Katniss says, “There are worse games to play.” Truly.

  ★QUESTIONS:Question #1: The Opening Ceremony: What book did you think had an incredible opening? I'll
  So, I bought The Disenchantments used and picked up my battered copy scared, because
Being stuck and sad makes reading, sleeping, eating, drinking, praying difficult. Everything is hard then.

Anl. Talking Tolkien

Having just revisited Middle Earth in movie form, it’d be fitting to talk about Tolkien’s work a bit on this blog. His work is valuable and offers great commentary about good and evil, temptation, and grace.

The Ring

The One Ring represents seduction to the evil of this world. Through it, Tolkien uses allegory to convey the importance of resisting temptations of evil.

Galadriel comes to mind, as she fights the ring’s call. She talks about how she could be a strong and terrifyingly effective queen if she had the ring. “All will love and despair.” It’s fear-based love, painful and anxious. Another example is Gandalf. He is pained when he tells Frodo that he’d not be able to control the ring. While he would be trying to use it for good purposes, it’d warp his power and produce negative outcomes.

Boromir falls into this trap. He is so sure that he’d use the ring to end the upcoming war on Middle Earth. Certain and confident in his own ability to resist it, that he doesn’t even see that thinking this way is a form of falling into temptation’s embrace.

Those who don’t try to hold the ring are rewarded for their actions. Aragorn become a great king. Gandalf becomes Gandalf the White. Sam becomes a hero and gets the girl. Merry and Pip become great warriors.

And, those who hold on to the ring are ultimately destroyed. Frodo and Bilbo are emotionally exhausted. Gollum is literally no longer in this world while the two Bagginses go to “heaven” in this world.

Heroes

Unlike everyone in the story, Sam is unchanged by the ring, by the journey, and by the peril he encounters. He is the light for Frodo’s growing darkness. Resourceful and hopeful, he practically carries Frodo to Mount Doom.

He never has any desire to try the ring, no intentions or plans with relying on the ring at all.

The question is of whether you think it’s better to be unaffected or worn. Part of me admires Frodo for his brave decision to carry a burden on behalf of so many races in the story: Men, Elves, Dwarf, Hobbit, Wizards.

Good and Evil

Ultimately, this story is about temptation and its relationship with good and evil. Somewhat simplistic as an approach, but Tolkien relates goodness with the avoidance of temptation, or at least resisting it. However, to his credit, Tolkien still allows for a complex view of the nature of redemption. Ultimately, Frodo redeems himself by taking the burden and ridding the world from an extreme evil.

Your Turn:

What do you think of Tolkien’s depiction of temptation and choice? Share in the comments!

 

Being stuck and sad makes reading, sleeping, eating, drinking, praying difficult. Everything is hard then.
1.What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?  Maze Runner,  The Gemma
Today, a box of books appeared on our front step, which is probably the most