03 September 2009

Wicked, Tricksy, False. (Film Interpretations.)

So, I wrote this awhile back- about 7 months ago, to be exact. I thought it would be interesting to share, and glean some of your thoughts on this...

Kevin and I were watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy tonight, yesterday, and the night before that, and there is part in which Smeagol is battling his inner demon Gollum in a mini-monologue. (Or would that be dialogue? Haha!) To me, it was like observing the my own thought processes (as well as anyone with an eating disorder) when it comes to recovery and the treatment team who wants to help.

For me, I see "it"/"the precious" as anorexia nervosa, the hobbits/Master as the treatment team, Gollum as the innermost thoughts while battling an ED, and Smeagol as our true and logical selves. What do you think?

Watch for yourself, and give me your opinion, if you will:

(For those of you with an eating disorder, or who have struggled with an eating disorder in the past: Doesn't this eerily remind you of your own internal fight?)

You know, and the more I think about it, like some of you have mentioned, the whole story line of the trilogy (especially when it comes to Smeagol/Gollum and the ring) reminds me very much of the struggles we all endure and the way an eating disorder can become like a "new identity."

  • In the beginning, becoming obsessed with the ring, and his physical/mental state slowly deteriorating (the eating disorder destroying our life).
  • Gollum always fighting to obtain the ring despite Smeagol logically knowing what it has done (often, we try to obtain an unattainable goal by using the eating disorder, instead of a positive coping mechanism).
  • The way Smeagol once again becomes engulfed with the thoughts of the ring in the end (what can happen if we ALLOW ourselves to be consumed by the ED- no pun intended).
  • The other characters that are involved in Smeagol/Gollum's life, like Samwise and Frodo mainly (Sam- the friends/loved ones that we must "prove" our recovery to constantly, Frodo- someone who empathises and trusts, or someone near to you that may be a "trigger" despite trying to help, etc).
  • In the end, because Smeagol doesn't fight the power of the ring/Gollum, he falls into Mordor (what can and WILL occur eventually if we do not constantly battle the ED, which SHOULD NOT and DOES NOT have control over our lives).
  • (I found this even MORE oddly coincidental, but...) The way the ring becomes such a force over its "protector" that they lose all appetite, become exhausted, and cannot sleep (all side effects of malnutrition/ED thoughts).
  • In the end, Frodo, despite battling the very ones he loves and respects, ends up throwing the ring into the fires of Mordor with the help of the other characters- even though he DOES lose a finger and ensures a lot of pain/difficulty! (This gives me hope, honestly, even though I know it's not really a film about eating disorders, and JRR Tolkien did note that book is not an allegory for anything. As he stated in the second edition of the novel, "It is neither allegorical nor topical....I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence." That being said, though, I can still see so many similarities. Despite the fact that recovery is typically a trying journey with many fights with loved ones/friends, and despite having to "lose" a lot in order to give up the identity of the ED, we CAN overcome this with our own sheer POWER and STRENGTH + the support of friends, family, and a treatment team.)

Can anyone find any more similarities in the films?

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