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Journey Leads to a Greater Understanding

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Sacrifice and realisation, two of the many concepts of journeys that lead the subject to a greater understanding. The idea that 'The journey leads to a greater understanding' is represented by many composers in their texts. This is present in J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel series, The Lord Of The Rings, and in Roberto Benigni's 1997 Italian film, Life is Beautiful. In these texts it is shown to the ones that make the sacrifice, what they would do for the ones they love and helps them understand themselves completely. Realisation is also abundant in the texts as the main characters see the full extent of the situation that they are in. This opens their eyes to the world around them and gives them further knowledge into their own lives.

Along most journeys you will at some point have to make a sacrifice of some degree. Sacrificing yourself or an aspect about yourself can lead you to an improved knowledge about yourself and your values, this in turn leads you to a greater understanding. In J. R. R. Tolkien's epic fantasy novel series, The Lord Of the Rings, many characters have to make a sacrifice to complete their quest of destroying the Ring, thus removing evil from Middle Earth. One of these acts of sacrifices is when Boromir is killed protecting the hobbits from the Urak-Hai. Throughout the journey in the first novel Boromir is tempted by the Ring and believes he should have it to protect his home city of Gondor. But as Frodo is fleeing to continue his mission a large group of the Urak-Hai are chasing him, so Boromir fights them valiantly but is badly wounded and eventually executed. Boromir's sacrifice allows Frodo and Sam to flee the attacking army. In his last moments, Boromir learns that he would put himself in between the ones that he loves and anything that is trying to harm them.

In the first novel of The Lord Of The Rings, sacrifice is also made as the four hobbits; Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin choose to take the Ring to Mordor on a treacherous path to save Middle Earth. The four hobbits have been brought up living their whole lives in their peaceful town called The Shire. The Shire protected them from all things evil and suddenly once they take upon the burden of the Ring they are thrusted into a world of betrayal, evil, death and war. This sacrifice of their safety and innocence shows how much they love their town, as they are willing to put their sanity and lives on the line to protect it. Frodo is also destroying the Ring to help his old uncle Bilbo, who discovered the Ring and over the years has begun to possess him.

Roberto Benigni's 1997 Italian film, Life is Beautiful which tells the story of a Jewish Italian, Guido Orefice, who must employ his fertile imagination to help his wife, Dora and their young son Joshua during their internment in a Nazi concentration camp. Sacrifice is present when, initially Dora does not have to be sent to the camp as she is not a Jew, but as she loves her family dearly she demands to be put on the train to go with them. This is an extremely large sacrifice as she, not the German soldiers sent her to the camp. She wanted to be with her family and support them through the harrowing period of their lives of which they were about to face. This shows great courage and love for her family and this journey that she put herself on would lead her to a greater understanding.

In the film, Life is Beautiful Guido also makes many sacrifices to support his family and try to push them through their time in the concentration camp. Throughout the movie Guido is displayed acting almost manic to convince his son Joshua that it is all a game and that he is winning. Whilst he is doing this he is almost constantly breaking the rules put in place by the German's, which can be punishable



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