"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
Welcome! This blog is about my random thoughts, colourful pictures and paintings, some of my pencil drawings, reflections on things I feel strongly about and my experiences as I journey through life. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to add your comments and suggestions, but please refrain from spam, racist or uncomfortable comments. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Good or Bad??

 I was watching The Lord Of the Rings again :) And obviously, the age old question or atleast since the book was read by its dearest readers occurred to me. Is Gollum good or bad? Not even Tolkien could understand this character's true nature.

I believe that no person is either good or bad. It depends on the situation one is forced or trapped into. Besides, it gives variety to life. There are not even just shades of grey in between the black and white. There is a whole range of colours of light with the invisible rays, unfelt rays, etc. in the human spectrum of evil-good trait.

There is always a conflict of emotions within us and more so in people with an active imagination and passion. But how is it that one chooses to be good at one point and then bad again concerning the same event or person but at a different point in time. Is the mind and heart so oscillatory?

You try to think good thoughts and deeds, lean towards it but at the same time sway towards the bad. Of course, knowing whether a thing is evil or good is in itself a conflict. When you are ruled by passions, be it in a case of patriotism or the greater good or a personal matter, how does one decide to choose among the existing course of actions?

Does the outcome of an event decide if a being is good or bad?

Considering all this Is Gollum good or bad?  I would love to know your take on this.


  1. There is a further question: define good and bad.
    One person's good is another persons bad. And good and bad are different things on different occasions.

    I think this question is far too complex for a short blog post and has kept philosophers thinking for hundreds of years.

    Thank you for visiting Friko's Poetry; I usually only react to comments on Friko's World, but I didn't want you to think that I ignored you.

  2. Ruby, everything in life has two aspects, good and bad, dark n bright...

  3. Heavens above Ruby that is such a subject that I'm sure minds far greater than mine will wrestle with and not come to a conclusion. To be very simplistic when I read T L o T R many years ago I didn't form a reasoned opinion but what was left in my sub-conscious was a feeling that he was inherently selfish and was bad if it served his interests. Having seen the films I suspect that my gut feeling was not too far away. However he was, of course as we know, capable of selflessness too. So, like you have said of us as people in general, I think the answer is that he was both good and bad. Why? And therein lies the question for greater minds than mine.

  4. I have not read this book, but I am intrigued by your thoughts.

  5. I can't tell you about Gollum but there's always different takes on what is good and what is bad. One person may feel guilt over some deed when another might find it perfectly fine. I don't think there will ever be a clear answer other than just knowing in your heart that you're doing your best.. or not.

  6. Friko - Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. It is too complex :)

    Rahul - I agree with you.

    Sandy - Thanks!

    Hilary - So true. Good/bad differs for different situations and people.

    GB - Thanks for the thorough comment. I felt that he was not good overall but inspite of the evil influences cast on him by the ring, somehow he felt gratitude for Frodo which makes it very difficult to classify.

  7. Hi Ruby. I think Gollum was neither good nor bad. He was an opportunist who did whatever was appropriate for him at the time, and for his own good. Do you think so? - Dave

  8. I am afraid I'm going to be no help at all here.
    I'm a psychotic.
    No I'm not.
    I'm a psychopath.
    No I'm not
    I'm a physicist.
    I'm definitely not a philosopher.
    I know!
    I'm a philistine!!
    Got it in five!

  9. Hello dear friend, Rubi! Being a good person or bad, depends on the way to see the life of each one. Be fair and leave that conclusion to God. Kisses from Brazil.

  10. hi Ruby as you said it all depends on each individual and the circumstances ... clear definition may be impossible but i believe that everyone feels in their heart what is right and wrong, some just decide not to listen to it ...

  11. Hello Ruby! What you ask is a difficult question, as there are many points of view for a same event considered by different people. About Gollum (I read Tolkien's book a long time ago, but I remember it as a great moment), I think this : people always have choice, but sometimes, they don't choose the good way because of a moment of weakness. But we have to consider that this moment is not definitive and that there is always a chance to turn their mind, to change and become good. For that to happen, they sometimes need help. Help and compassion often make the difference when people have to take a decision.
    Enjoy a nice next week!

  12. I've not seen the movies nor read the books, although my husband and eldest daughter have done both.

  13. Just know how your mind works.. like how you get those good or bad thoughts.. and why you sway towards bad.. control your mind and your future will be in your hands. Simple.

    btw you r very intellectual :)

  14. Dave - Yes, I think so. He is mostly bad with some very meagre good qualities.

  15. I think he represents what can happen to you for giving in to temptations and evil, and how ugly people can be on the inside (represented by his outer appearance) who are materialistic.

    Just my thoughts.

  16. gollum's weakness was that he couldn't give up the thing that was killing him. along the way he battled his demon, or at least seemed to. maybe it was all a ritual for his tragic and inevitable end. but was his end tragic? i am thinking of the movie. i thought gollum played a necessary role in the greater good of destroying the ring. (yeah, i know i'm going nerd here but this seems like a safe place:) and gollum got his wish, which was to be reunited with the ring. was gollum bad? murdering his friend was bad. trying to kill frodo was bad. but he ended up accomplishing good. i'll say he showed great weakness.

  17. That is one of my favourite themes in literature--the basic good vs. evil that goes on within a character. With a really well-written character like Gollum, the character can be both good and bad, and sometimes there's a very fine line between what makes them good or bad. It's a really fun thing to play with as a writer. :D I love making some of my most evil characters do unexpected good deeds.

  18. Mich, it must be fascinating to play around like that.

    Ed, yes he was a very weak creature and the ring possessed him more because of that.


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