Tuesday, October 11, 2005

J. R. R. Tolkien

Aku akan menggunakan sebuah kalimat dari karya J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," dalam kalimat terakhir bukuku.

Buku ini akan banyak bicara soal hidup dan mati. Aku kira cocok bila ia diakhiri dengan kalimat Tolkien:

"He deserves death"

"Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends

Coba kau ingat siapa karakter yang mengatakan kalimat terkenal ini?

Ketika hari ini aku google, kalimat ini tercetak pada 31,000 situs web. Ia adalah kalimat terpenting dalam serial J.R.R. Tolkien.

Mungkin kau bisa ingat bila ingat penjelasan Prof. Ralph C. Wood dari Leader University sebagai berikut:

The animating power of this Company is the much-maligned virtue called pity. Frodo had learned the meaning of pity from his Uncle Bilbo. When he first obtained the Ring from the vile creature called Gollum, Bilbo had the chance to kill him but did not. Frodo is perplexed by this refusal. 'Tis a pity, he contends, that Bilbo did not slay such an evil one. This phrase angers the wise Gandalf. It prompts him to make the single most important declaration in the entire Ring epic:

"Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that [Bilbo] took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity."

"I am sorry," said Frodo. "But ... I do not feel any pity for Gollum.... He deserves death."

"Deserves it! I daresay he does," [replies Gandalf]. "Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.... [T]he pity of Bilbo will rule the fate of many -- yours not least."

"The pity of Bilbo will rule the fate of many" gradually becomes the motto of Tolkien's epic. It is true in the literal sense, because the Gollum whom Bilbo had spared so long ago is the one who finally destroys the Ring. But the saying is also true in a deep spiritual sense. Gandalf the pagan wizard here announces the nature of Christian mercy. As a creature far more sinning than sinned against, Gollum deserves his misery. He has committed Cain's crime of fratricide in acquiring the Ring. Still Gandalf insists on pity, despite Frodo's protest that Gollum be given justice. If all died who deserve punishment, none would live. Many perish who have earned life, Gandalf declares, and yet who can restore them? Neither hobbits nor humans can live by the bread of merit alone. Hence Gandalf's call for pity and patience: the willingness to forgive trespasses and to wait on slow-working providence rather than rushing to self-righteous judgment.

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