I took a lot of time to come to the second quote which, kind of, defeats the purpose of having the exercise.
Anyway, I can’t say that I was very busy. Check out the next blog post to hear me whine about it. For now I will talk about Mark Twain and how this quote reminded me of Faramir.
When Twain talks about something he infuses a spark in it. One cannot help but sit up and take notice. It need not be very profound (which this one is) to be a real good one to bounce around when in semi literate circles. That’s true for all quotes actually. Ah, whatever!
Coming to Faramir I’d say that he is one of the most honourable characters in Tolkien’s book. Of course, he’s merely human and his entire purpose, so it would seem, was to be of at least a little worth in the eyes of his father, Lord Denethor II, the steward of Gondor. The movie ruins the scene when Gandalf goes to Minastirith to meet with him. Yes, the shades are there but it still misses on the crux by light years. In the entire book if there was one character as strong as Gandalf it was Denethor. Not even the Half elven King, Lord Elrond, comes close to the charismatic and explosive personality that Denethor possesses. The scene between Gandalf and Denethor was messed up in the movie.
Peter Jackson makes Gandalf turn away from Denethor in disgust but that was not the case. From what I remember it was not disgust that makes Gandalf turn around. It was the inability to tarry words with Denethor that makes Gandalf accept defeat (yes, It’s true. Unbelievable, but true) and turn around.
Faramir is the one who, at least in his father’s eye, lacks courage and sincerity. It would not be wrong to say that Denethor is an idiot for thinking so. Faramir knew that Boromir, his loving elder brother, wouldn’t be able to save himself from the Ring’s attraction and would have taken it for himself. Something that Denethor refuses to believe despite Faramir being strong to let it go.
He musters courage to ask his father if he would’ve liked him dead and Boromir alive. Something tells me that he knew the answer to that question even before he asks it. Denethor answers in the affirmative and banishes him away from his sight.
And Faramir goes to his death. The White Wizard intervenes at the right time or else he would’ve been a goner. Faramir represents the strength of character and the high sense of righteousness a man can possess despite being beaten from all ends. He is hated by his father. He has always been under the shadow of his live wire brother, Boromir, who loves him enough to render a father’s love redundant. He has the task of repelling the army from taking the garrison at Osgiliath. But he still possesses the strength to fight against the odds.
Was it the love for his father that makes him do what he does? I believe that the answer is needed just as much as an Orc would need a lullaby.
It is better to deserve honours and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.