May 2016 Newsletter
Unit 9 – Formal Critique
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May 2016 Newsletter

Critique Writing

Unit 9 – Formal Critique

Dear Readers,

It is once again time to jump into formal critique writing! The goal of Unit 9 is essentially to teach structure for book reports, reviews, and critiques; to develop a critical vocabulary; and to apply the basic Story Sequence Chart in order to write a 5-paragraph essay. Before you jump into Unit 9, here are a few tips adapted from Teaching Writing: Structure and Style.
  1. Remember to actually critique and not simply summarize. It is easy to fill your paper with a play-by-play of the story. However, a critique is more than merely a summary. It analyzes and makes a recommendation.
  2. Avoid writing in first person, such as “I think,” “in my opinion,” or “I believe.” Instead, write with confidence and authority as if you are the expert. 

Congratulations to the student-authors who were published in this newsletter:
  • Colby Duke
  • Katie Smith
  • Levi Smith
  • Broughton Powell
  • Malachi Williams
  • Susanna Ziesmer

Upcoming Magnum Opus Magazine Writers’ Deadlines
Fiction - May 23, 2016
Journalism - June 27, 2016

∙            ∙            ∙
Thank you to everyone who submitted his or her work to our Unit 9 newsletter! We encourage you to keep writing and submit again!

Happy critique writing!

Megan L. House
Magnum Opus Magazine Managing Editor
800.856.5815 x5101
A Lovable Tale
by Susanna Ziesmer, age 10
         Have you ever been separated from your family for a whole day? A duck named Ping explored the aspects of life away from his family in a book called The Story About Ping, which is a children’s book by Marjorie Flack and illustrated by Kurt Wiese. The author wrote six books before creating The Story About Ping. Flack didn’t know very much about Chinese culture, so she connected with Kurt Wiese to write the story together. Wiese’s pictures and Flack’s story worked together perfectly. Her story was very successful—in fact, the most successful of any of her books.

         Once, there was a young duck named Ping. He lived with his mother, father, two sisters, three brothers, eleven, aunts, seven uncles, and forty-two cousins all in a boat on the Yangtze River in China. In the morning, all the ducks would walk single-file down the gangplank and off of the boat onto dry land where they would spend their day. When it was evening, their master would call them, and the ducks would walk onto the boat again, but the last duck would get a spanking. So, Ping tried as hard as he could to not be the last duck. Over all, Ping lived quite a happy life on the boat with his family and master.

         One fine evening, Ping missed the call because he was wrong side up, hunting for fish. He did not want a spanking, so he decided to wait until morning to find his family. Finally, he drifted off to sleep, and in the morning, he set off to search for his master. He came to a busy area and swam up to one of the boats. Suddenly, there was a splash, and a little boy came bobbing up to the surface of the water with a rice cake in his hand. Ping immediately thought of what a fine dinner the rice cake would be and grabbed it out of the boy’s hand. However, the boy was too smart and snatched the duck out of the water before Ping could think! He brought it to his family to show them his new pet. The Chinese boy’s mother stated that she would roast Ping for supper! Ping was set under a basket to await the evening meal. What was Ping going to do? His problem was too great for him to try to solve.

         The poor little Chinese boy did not want his pet duck to be eaten for dinner, so he gently set Ping back in the water and waved goodbye as Ping swam away. Suddenly, Ping heard his master’s call! Ping paddled as fast as he could, but he was too late. His last cousin was walking up the gangplank. But Ping wasn’t going to get lost again, so he ran up the gangplank anyway even though he would get a spanking on his back. Even though he got a spanking, Ping was glad to be with his mother, father, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, and cousins again.

         The Story About Ping is a well-constructed book that any child would enjoy. The moral of the story can be found in Philippians 2:4; Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Ping was looking to his own interests by avoiding the spanking, and he was not looking to the interests of the others by worrying his family instead of taking the punishment for being late. This message can be followed by all people young and old. The lovable tale about a duckling is a favorite to many. 
From Imprudent to Confident
by Katie Smith, age 13
         She is young. She is careless. She is rebellious. In the story “The Little Mermaid,” written by Hans Christian Andersen, the protagonist is a passionate teenage mermaid, who desperately wishes to gain an immortal soul. Penned in 1837, this tale and others were created by Andersen with fictional characters similar to those he knew in real life. The little mermaid falls in love with a prince and visits the sea witch in order to become human, although her grandmother warns her against it. Cunningly the distrustful sea witch takes the little mermaid’s lyrical voice and threatens to turn her into foam if she does not marry the prince. This creates a dilemma. Although originally reckless and impulsive, the little mermaid matures into a courageous and selfless woman.

         Under the glimmering sea, the little mermaid, although very sweet and tranquil, is somewhat impulsive. Because she adores and cherishes the prince with all of her heart, she calls on the conniving sea witch, who cleverly grants her wish to become human. The little mermaid unwisely trades her voice in the process, heightening the conflict. This is foolish. “If he marries someone else, your heart will break on the very next morning, and you will become foam of the sea.” Changing into a human, the little mermaid is unaware of the consequences she will face. Unfortunately, the little mermaid’s thoughtless and irresponsible decision leads her into a hopeless tragedy.

         Although the mermaid is impulsive, Andersen also portrays the heroine of his adventure as courageous. Turning fifteen, the little mermaid is given an opportunity to explore above the emerald sea. Above the salty ocean depths, the little mermaid discovers a charming prince, sailing across the turbulent waters and is immediately drawn to him. She is completely mesmerized. Because she is confident, she heroically and instinctively risks life and limb as she saves him from a disastrous shipwreck. “She swam in among all the floating planks and beams, completely forgetting that they might crush her.” Dramatically, the author creates a suspenseful description of her rescue. Her heroism is amazing.

         In Andersen’s fairy tale, the little mermaid, who matures from a young, rebellious teenager to a selfless and responsible woman, presents the author’s inspiring message of self-sacrifice. She longs for an immortal soul to live in Heaven after death. She must marry the prince. Because the prince married another princess, the little mermaid will become soupy sea foam if she does not kill the prince. Will she heartlessly murder him? Unselfishly, the little mermaid senses a serious compassion towards the prince, although her life depends on his death. “With eyes already gazing she looked once more at the Prince, hurled herself over the bulwarks into the sea, and felt her body dissolve in foam.” Selfless, the little mermaid refuses to murder her one true love and sorrowfully transforms into foam.

         Andersen’s entertaining adventure follows the turbulent progression of the heroine, the little mermaid, through an emotional maturing process. In the beginning the little mermaid is a slightly selfish character, deeply concerned with her own sorrows. Undoubtedly, most dissatisfied teenagers continue to bathe in their own self-pity. As the story progresses, however, the little mermaid matures from an irresponsible juvenile to a bold, unselfish woman. It was like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly. She recognizes her flaws. Most importantly, although her outcome is tragic, she is content with her fate. Realizing her responsibilities, the little mermaid develops from imprudent girl to confident and caring young woman.  
A True Hero
by Levi Smith, age 13
          “Far out in the ocean the water is as blue as the petals of the loveliest cornflower, and as clear as the purest glass.” So begins the story “The Little Mermaid,” written by Hans Christen Andersen. Andersen was born on April 2, 1805, in the town of lush and green Odense, Denmark. Originally he wanted to be an entertainer, although after eventually failing at this pursuit, he took up writing and was a complete success. Referred to in Andersen’s book as the little mermaid, it is a young mer-princess who stars as the protagonist. The conflict begins when the little mermaid saves a human prince from drowning and immediately falls in love with him. Eventually, she learns that humans have immortal souls and immediately desires to obtain this for herself. To her surprise, however, the only way for a mermaid to gain immortality is for a human to fall in love with her. She then embarks on an epic journey, determined and confident that this outcome will transpire. What she discovers is a future that entails difficult choices, pain, suffering, and ultimately death. Because of her compassionate, determined, and inquisitive character, she has unusual and profound experiences which will leave her life forever altered.

          Undoubtedly, the little mermaid’s compassion for others is an obvious quality. In this love story, in which the setting starts under the ocean during the late medieval ages, this quality is brought out by the Prince, the emotionally blind antagonist who is on his way to a watery doom. “She watched closely for the young Prince, and when the ship split in two she saw him sink down in the sea. At first she was overjoyed that he would be with her, but then she recalled that human people could not live under the water, and he could only visit her father’s palace as a dead man. No, he shall not die!” She quickly dives down into the black murky depths and saves him quickly and mercifully from his death, whereas most mer-people would not have. She, however, is different. Where other mer-folk would have cared less about a mere human drowning, she sees value in all life and acts upon this compassion to do the right thing, like in the mouse and the lion story. Compassionate and sensitive, her conscience does not allow her to mercilessly watch a living thing die, especially unnecessarily. The little mermaid’s character is one of unwavering compassion.

          “If men aren’t drowned, do they live on forever? Don’t they die, as we do down here in the sea?” This thought-provoking question, indicative of her inquisitive nature, begins a series of questions and desires that the little mermaid sets out to answer. After saving the prince, she confronts her shriveled grandmother, who acts as the aged and sagely mentor, about the difference between humans and mer-people. Whereas mermaids die and turn into sea foam after three hundred years, her grandmother reveals that humans have immortal souls and live forever after death, so the thought of obtaining her own immortality to live with her true love unsurprisingly consumes the little mermaid’s thoughts. The conflict begins. Interestingly, she is unsatisfied to live a long life, only to be changed into sea foam. She is faced with the dilemma of choosing a different path in life, one that does not include her family, although she loves her family dearly. Her inquisitive nature creates an interesting tale with a complex plot, making the story a beloved classical fairy tale for many. Due to her analytical nature, the little mermaid sets her course on quite a different path than that of all other mer-people, experiencing feelings, circumstances, and situations she would otherwise never experience.

          Finally, her greatest overall trait is undoubtedly her determination. Few can compare to her unrivaled strength and fortitude as she willingly and happily endures trials to achieve a much greater reward. When faced with the challenge of sacrificing her voice for human legs and subjecting herself to pain beyond measure indefinitely, the protagonist gladly suffers the painful experience to obtain immortality alongside her true love. “Everyone who sees you will say that you are the most graceful human being they have ever laid eyes on, for you will keep your gliding movement and no dancer will be able to tread as lightly as you. But every step you take will feel as if you were treading upon knife blades so sharp that blood must flow.” The conflict is exacerbated. Reminded of her sacrifice through each painful step, which is inflicted by a sneaky sea witch, the little mermaid also loses her precious voice. Her determination to achieve immortality and eternal life with the young prince supersedes any and all other difficulty or trial she expects to go through. Although life takes her on a different course than she anticipates, her determination to acquire immortality will eventually be rewarded.

          Although at first the little mermaid seems to be just a compassionate and inquisitive mer-princess, a deeper look at her actions also reveals her character to be determined and enlightened. Expertly written, “The Little Mermaid” turns out to be an intense story while avoiding having a “much too perfect” ending. Realistically written for fiction, parts of the story seem to be rather underdeveloped and undescriptive, lacking in substance and content. Engaging and interesting, however, this book is still quite enjoyable regardless of its faults. Despite the fact that this book was written in the 1800s, it refrains from sounding antiquated and archaic. She wants an immortal soul. She loves the prince. She sacrifices herself. The little mermaid’s sacrifice for her true love, the prince, has unearthed the judicious moral. Everything has a price. The little mermaid, a true hero, sorrowful and despondent at not receiving the love of the prince, gives up her life in exchange for his. The reader’s initial horrified response at this turn of events quickly gives way to elation as she benefits from an equally merciful and just reward.
The Healing of a Humbug
by Malachi Williams, age 14
          “Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.” This is how Charles Dickens colorfully describes the personality of old Ebenezer Scrooge in the first chapter of his famous book A Christmas Carol. Dickens, born in Portsmouth, United Kingdom in 1812, began his career as a fictional writer when he submitted many of his humorous sketches to various newspapers and magazines around 1833. Later, his short stories and comedies were collected and published as his very first book, Sketches by Boz. Successfully the writer became famous for his many narratives, including A Christmas Carol, which was published in 1843 by Chapman & Hall in London, until his death in 1870. Scrooge remains one of Dickens’ most recognizable characters to this day. The narrative paints him as a selfish old banker with a short, exploding temper, who would rather just keep to himself. Scrooge hates Christmas. Because he has continually chosen this way of life, he is shown the consequences of his actions by the three ghosts of Christmas and what will happen in the future unless he repents of his ways. A changed man after his overnight adventure, Scrooge rights his wrongs and happily lives life with a new purpose. Although the old “humbug” is greedy and uncaring, his time spent with the three ghosts helps to heal his selfishness, and by the end of the story he is as genuinely generous as a man could be.

          One of Scrooge’s clearest key characteristics is his fateful and stubborn greed for money. Possessed with this monetary love, which he slowly obsesses over as he ages, Scrooge gradually loses many things and even people of value. When the first ghost of Christmas takes the old man through his supernatural trip in the past, his lust is painfully revealed. The tragic scene opens on a young girl in a mourning dress sitting next to Scrooge in the prime of his life. Silently the older Scrooge and the Spirit of Christmas Past watch as the scene unfolds. The girl is shedding tears. “It matters little ... To you very little. Another idol has displaced me.” ... “What Idol has displaced you?” Scrooge asks. “A golden one. ... May you be happy in the life you have chosen!” The memory ends as the two go their own way. Throughout many dismal months, the young and determined Scrooge resolves to continue to spend his miserable years loving his money and making more. He often passes time in his counting house, tallying his coins in the consuming darkness. Surely, his greed for money is but one of the things that lead to his cold, secluded lifestyle.

          Scrooge’s hard and bitter heart is mostly shown through his uncaring actions towards others. After years of keeping to himself, like an old, wrinkled turtle tucked away in its shadowy shell, fellow neighbors and citizens finally learn to keep their distance. “But what did Scrooge care? It was the very thing he liked.” Seeking his own comfort, the wealthy man insists upon his will, although many times it is at the expense of someone else. As the evening slowly wanes one Christmas Eve, Scrooge, in a particularly nasty mood over the merrymaking of the season, is visited by two gentlemen who remove their hats and bow in greeting after entering his office. “A few of us are endeavoring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. ... What shall I put you down for?” one of the men prods. “Nothing!” snaps Scrooge. “You wish to be anonymous?” “I wish to be left alone.” Sadly, Scrooge’s sour attitude leaves him devoid of any meaningful friends, besides his now dead co-worker, Marley, and his loyal nephew, whom he shows no interest in. Scrooge’s uncaring personality is the main characteristic that develops his seemingly lifeless heart and habits.

          At his turning point, Scrooge gains the important characteristic of generosity on this timely and emotional adventure, which reveals the consequences of his past, present, and future actions. Giddily Scrooge prepares to bless others on this Christmas morning, when he discovers he has a second chance to begin life with a new purpose. He shakes in excitement. He whoops. He laughs for joy. Before leaving his house, Scrooge happily and thoughtfully purchases an enormous prize turkey for his long ill-treated employee Bob Cratchit and his poor family. While he waits for Cratchit’s arrival for work, Scrooge busies himself by giving his time and money to others around town. Devoted to his new purpose, the old banker surprises the devoted workman after he enters the counting house. “Now, I’ll tell you what, my friend. ... I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore ... I am about to raise your salary! ... A merry Christmas Bob!” Christmas is newly brightened for many of the townsfolk this wonderful day as a result of Scrooge’s changed character and relentless generosity.

          Scrooge’s selfish greed and uncaring actions are transformed into heroic generosity when he learns his lesson on the frosty night of Christmas Eve. His habits reveal his character. Although one can easily interpret Scrooge’s personality through what he does, Dickens designs the story so that while observing his dark appearance and how Scrooge carries himself, the reader receives a hint of who he is. The author accomplishes this through very detailed descriptions. During the story, the reader’s insights, which are probably against Scrooge at first, change as his heart changes. Undoubtedly, Ebenezer Scrooge possesses a very entertaining and well-drawn personality. Recalling the intriguing story A Christmas Carol, most people will certainly remember the old banker’s cold and cruel ways for which he is so well known by his neighbors. What can be learned from Scrooge’s character? The most important lesson that can be taught from his personality is that one can always change for the better no matter how morally bankrupt he was before. Every “humbug” has a chance to heal.
The Unlikely Hero
by Colby Duke, age 15

NOTE: The following is an example of a literary analysis paper (Unit 8 or 9).
         Boasting large feet, a larger appetite, and no sense of adventure, a Hobbit is seen as an unlikely hero at best. However, the protagonist of the epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings is curious Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit. Created by the novelist J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece in whole. Allen & Unwin published the adventure on July 29, 1954. On the day of his thirty-third birthday, Frodo receives the One Ring of Power from his uncle, Bilbo. Frodo believes it is ordinary. After discovering what the Ring truly is, he joins with a group of heroes lead by dauntless Gandalf the Grey, as he is a wise, powerful wizard. They swiftly march to the cracks of Mount Doom to destroy the Ring forever. Because it obeys and serves its only true master, the Dark Lord Sauron, the Ring taxes Frodo throughout his quest. Faithfully his friends stay by his side until the very end of the trilogy, but Frodo must destroy the Ring alone. At the end of the quest, Frodo enters Mordor. The land is best described by solemn Haldir the elf, who warned, “The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.” In order to complete this challenge, Frodo needs many admirable qualities. Overall, Frodo is courageous, persevering, and dutiful.

         Consistent throughout the book, one of Frodo’s most redeeming qualities is his remarkable amount of courage. Even when almost everyone else abandons him, he pushes forward towards Mount Doom. The hero carries the ring to the mountain, trying his hardest to keep his burden from all but himself, because he does not want his friends to suffer. If evil threatens him or his friends, he steps up and does not shy away. Charging Orcs and other foul beasts, zealous Frodo protects those he loves. With a knife wound in his side, determined Frodo will not consider leaving his companions, even though he is hurt. He fights powerful enemies. The scene in his life demanding the most courage is when he steps up to carry the ring. Recuperating, resting, and relaxing at Rivendell, which is one of the Elves’ vibrant kingdoms, he meets with some of the most influential leaders in Middle Earth. “But it is a heavy burden,” Elf Lord Elrond informs Frodo, “So heavy that none could lay it on another.” Amazingly, even with this warning, Frodo accepts the burden of the Ring and becomes the courageous Ring-Bearer as his Uncle unknowingly and unwillingly did before him.

         Frodo perseveres through many challenges in The Lord of the Rings. The One Ring of Power steadily weakens him, yet he pushes forward to his goal with the same rugged determination that he started out with from the village of the Shire. The journey is grueling. The sleek Ring almost never leaves his grasp as he carries his burden to the cracks of Mount Doom. Although it turned delirious Smeagol into Gollum, the ring, which corrupted all of its previous owners, cannot seem to penetrate Frodo’s will, like a predator cannot break into a turtle’s shell. A passage in The Lord of the Rings reads, “And yet their wills did not yield, and they struggled on.” When he enters Mordor, Frodo begins to feel the heightened power of the malicious and malevolent Ring, which draws closer to its master. Throwing the Ring into Mount Doom, Frodo is fully possessed by the Ring. Thankfully, furious Gollum rushes to the scene and bites the Ring off of Frodo’s finger. In the process, both Gollum and the Ring are destroyed in Mount Doom, which melts the Ring. The challenges which Frodo perseveres through in the book are astounding.

         In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo, who only fights for the well being of others, has a great sense of duty towards minor characters. He is loyal to friends. He never betrays his friends. He never harms his friends. One of the reasons he chooses to take the Ring is so no one else will have to take the trial upon themselves. When the Ring taxes him, and his friends offer to help, he refuses because he does not want their hearts to be tainted by the Ring’s power. An offended Boromir inquires, “None of us should wander alone, you least of all. Frodo? I know you suffer; I see it day by day. Are you sure you do not suffer needlessly? There are other ways, Frodo, other paths we might take.” Guarded Frodo responds, “I know what you would say, and it would seem like wisdom, but for the warning in my heart.” However, this mindset brings the incredible weight of loneliness. Even after the Ring is finally destroyed in Mount Doom and Frodo returns to the Shire, he is alone. Resting alone at Rivendell, only drained old Bilbo can truly understand Frodo; however, even Bilbo did not endure nearly as much as Frodo. Accurately Lady Galadriel summarizes and explains Frodo’s duty best, stating, “You are a Ring-bearer, Frodo. To bear a Ring of Power is to be alone.” Through his sense of duty, Frodo undoubtedly suffers and struggles more than any other character in the book.

         Showing his best qualities always, Frodo is courageous, persevering, and has a unique sense of duty. Though he succeeds in destroying the Ring, Frodo fully changes from a carefree young Hobbit to a solemn, wise adult because the Ring takes away part of his happiness. He loses parts of himself. While he is fictional, open Frodo is a very realistic character, the setting of his journey aside. The accepting reader can always relate to him and his troubles. The moral of the story, which is spurred by heroic Frodo, is to never give up. In his adventures, both Frodo’s wit and kindness are loveable. Which of Frodo’s characteristics is the greatest? Assuredly, the most important aspect of resolute Frodo is his inspiring determination to help people who cannot help themselves. Because of the courageous perseverance of Frodo, The Lord of the Rings and its unlikely hero are indeed masterpieces.
The Unforeseen Hero
by Broughton Powell, age 15

NOTE: The following is an example of a literary analysis paper (Unit 8 or 9).
          “Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron.” Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, was described as such by C.S. Lewis. Composed in the twentieth century, The Lord of the Rings is one of the most renowned novels in the world. At the request of Tolkien’s publisher, this sequel to The Hobbit was released in 1954 and published by Allen & Unwin. The plot begins to accumulate a profile when the despicable ring of Sauron-the-Horrible tumbles into the small, tender hands of a playful hobbit, Frodo Baggins. Thus, the struggle begins. Frodo, who is one of many protagonists, embarks on a journey with nine companions to eradicate the ring of power in the fiery depths of Mount Doom. Although only highlighted as a side character, Sam Gamgee possesses multiple positive traits which provide an explanation for his lovable figure. Unintentionally thrown into the quest, Sam, a humble gardener, follows his master, Frodo, through countless perils. Eventually they reach the depths of Mount Doom, exterminate the ring, and ultimately save Middle Earth. Beyond the small physique of the young Sam Gamgee lies an optimistic, courageous, and loyal hobbit.

          Sam Gamgee’s fundamental quality is his positive spirit, which is always uplifting. Within the enchanting, page-turning saga, Sam never produces a negative comment or anything discouraging but instead possesses an optimistic attitude. Weary and afraid, Frodo does not wish to travel further. Sam, however, encourages his companion by informing him of the future stories soon to be foretold about their fearless journey to dispose of the fiery golden ring. This is not the only account of Sam’s encouragement. Tragically, Frodo witnesses a fierce battle which leaves him petrified and dismayed; however, Sam uplifts him by mentioning that the Shire folk will never believe their account of the Oliphaunt. This is compassion. This is friendship. This is inspiration. These are only two occurrences out of countless occasions in which Sam possesses a positive attitude, when, unfortunately, no one else maintains one. The crestfallen Frodo, who is disheartened and depressed, perceives no hope for the future and inquires of Sam, “What are we holding onto, Sam?” to which Sam responds, “That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” Although no one else maintains an unwavering and inspiring demeanor throughout the conflict, Sam Gamgee is the exception, always trusting and sanguine about the conspiracy.

          Definitely one of Sam’s most defining qualities is his unrivaled courage. Although many hobbits are exceedingly brave, Sam Gamgee is certainly the most valiant hobbit ever to live. In the dark, ominous caves below Mordor, Sam gallantly and ferociously pounces on Shelob while viciously striking the decrepit arthropod with vigor. The gargantuan spider is feared by the bravest of men, but the audacious hobbit does not back down. Obviously, Sam’s courage is extraordinary. The accomplished novelist describes the scene like this: “Then he charged. No onslaught more fierce was even seen in the savage world of beasts, where some desperate small creature armed with little teeth, alone, will spring upon a tower of horn and hide that stands above its fallen mate.” Believing Frodo to be dead, Sam, who stoutheartedly grasps the ring, is determined to resolve the arduous conflict alone. This not only displays his fearless heart, but also his perseverance. The young hobbit is like an ant, small in appearance, yet strong in heart. “You've left out one of the chief characters—Samwise the Brave.” This nickname, credited to Sam by Frodo, perfectly describes his character. Never was there a more valiant hobbit in Middle Earth than young Samwise the Brave.

          Sam Gamgee’s crowning characteristic is his unfading loyalty. Notoriously remembered for his devout loyalty, Sam’s unfailing faithfulness is demonstrated on numerous occasions throughout the treacherous journey. When the young, adventurous hobbit learns that his beloved master lives, he instantly embarks to free the protagonist from his confining imprisonment in the dilapidated, overgrown ork tower while placing himself in extreme peril along the way. During the exhausting expedition, Sam never leaves the side of Frodo but remains faithful to the very end. Attempting to climb the precipitous Mount Doom, Frodo, in his ghastly physical state, is unable to ascend the mountain to discard the Ring of Power and resolve the dilemma. However, Sam, in the most notorious scene of the novel, carries the crippled Frodo up the lofty, scorched volcano to end their unforgettable journey: “ ‘Come, Mr. Frodo!' he cries. ‘I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you.’ ” Surely, this conveys his devotion. Always remembered for his superb loyalty, Sam will endure throughout the ages as a perfect example of unfailing faithfulness.

          The optimistic, courageous, and loyal qualities of Sam Gamgee explain his success. Sam is a steadfast and reliable character who never changes throughout the conflict, with the possible exception of his developing courage. Certainly, Sam is a likable character. By containing sympathetic and relentless character qualities and a compassionate attitude, Sam attracts the affection of readers. Although the appealing, youthful hobbit is well rounded, he is not a complex secondary protagonist because he represents the common or everyday man. This justifies his particular personality. Why is Sam so loyal to Frodo? The social class and economic position of Sam clarifies his devotion. Employed by Mr. Baggins, Sam earns his living by gardening. In this way, Sam pictures and embraces Frodo as his master and does not wish to advance in his social position but is perfectly content to remain in his current status quo. This is the reason for Sam’s rigorous devotion to Frodo. However, it is very important to realize that Frodo never would have succeeded in his strenuous mission without Sam Gamgee. Even though Sam is only a common individual, he is the answer to the ultimate success of the quest and is truly the unforeseen hero of The Lord of the Rings.
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