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PEOPLE WATCH
The Magic of the Rings

by Casey White
August 4, 2003

The Magic of the Rings_Casey White- This Jr. High School student is a little plump, a little short, wears glasses, has short, sandy-brown hair. He has caring parents and plenty of school friends. I suppose you could say that he is your typical, average middle-school 13-year-old. But life is quite easy, and there are few problems. Home has all of the conveniences, and money is not an issue. At this young age, he has been many places in the world that others dream about for a lifetime. Like many of his peers, he has few desires that go unmet, and few challenges that go beyond his reach. There is no struggle. Only priviledge, plenty, and Playstation 2. Consequently, he is bored, takes his blessings for granted, and has little that stirs his heart or his imagination.

Yet, there is an exception: J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Long before the Peter Jackson films started coming out, this boy was beginning to read the massive and intricately-woven novels about wizards and hobbits, fellowship and bravery. By the age of 11, this young man had digested all three books, and was in his glory when the first movie hit the big screen. He has since re-read all three novels plus the other related Tolkien books. He knows every detail. He can recite whole sections of dialog.

Being a late-commer to Tolkein fandom, I have only read the novels once, and currently am reading The Hobbit, the original "prequel" book that started it all. Whenever I run across the young Jr. High student, my local expert in Tolkein-lore, it doesn't take much to get him going. With the least little question about the topic, his eyes open wide, his speech becomes punctuated, and his hand motions accentuate his excitement. There is magic in the Rings trilogy, and it can be seen in this boy and many others. Tolkien (and now with Jackson bringing it to vivid live-action life,) has created a world that opens up the mind and heart. He stirs emotion and conviction with the stories of struggle, loss, and hard-fought victory in the timeless battle of good over evil.

A boy like that needs novels and movies like this. We all do.

About the Author:
Casey White submits this article as his conclusion in the People Watch series. Job and location changes will require a sabbatical. Casey says, As we watch others, we can learn about ourselves.

The editor would like to publicly thank Casey for the keen observations he has made through People Watch. We hope to welcome back his distinctive voice in the future.



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