How Today’s Humans Resemble Gollum?

How Today's Humans Resemble Gollum?
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Gollum, who can forget this character from the “The Lord of the Rings” movies or J.R.R. Tolkien’s books?

I was very fascinated by Gollum. There was something about it. We like and connect with that character because he has flaws.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, but today’s humans are not much different than Gollum. Both share similar characteristics.

Let’s look into some ways in which today’s humans resemble Gollum:

Dual Personality and Internal Conflicts

Gollum suffers from a split personality. He has two distinct personas: “Gollum” and “Sméagol”.

Sméagol is his good side, while Gollum is his evil side.

Similarly, many individuals constantly battle many internal conflicts.

These conflicts could be anything like:

We humans also are torn between moral dilemmas like Gollum. We all have good sides and evil sides.

Many humans give in to darker impulses, while others follow the path of the greater good over self-interest.

Addiction and Obsession

In “The Lord of The Rings” movies, we observe how much Gollum is obsessed with the Ring.

Similarly, you can see many people today who are obsessed with their smartphones and other devices. They find them magical as they can serve them whenever they want.

Humans are addicted to whatever these devices offer to them, like social media, videos, music, and several other engaging apps.

Further, Gollum is obsessed with his only material possession, the Ring. It has consumed him.

Similarly, humans desire material possessions and go all-in for the pursuit of wealth, status, or specific items. They are either unaware or don’t care that such things often cost us our relationships and well-being.

Desire For Power

Gollum knows the Ring has power, so he is completely fixated on the Ring. As the Ring gives him invisibility and a sense of control, he clings to it desperately.

Gollum is living in a dark and hostile world. And the Ring helps him survive in such a place. He can avoid threats and sustain himself due to the power of the Ring.

Gollum is power-hungry, but this is a different type of hunger. He is using the power for survival rather than domination.

Similarly, humans are obsessive about the pursuit of power.

They are obsessive about their career ambitions, money, and luxury because they view wealth and material possessions as symbols of power and status.

As Gollum calls the Ring “My Precious, ” many people have the same “Precious” obsession with their possessions.

Like Gollum’s self-worth is tied to the Ring, many people tie their self-worth to different things. Like higher social status in the society, best professional titles, or higher achievements.

Gollum is manipulative and can deceive anyone to get what he wants. So can humans.

We also use manipulative tactics and display deceptive behaviors to gain more power and advantage over others.

Lonliness and Living an Isolated Life

Gollum lives alone in the caves. He knows what is happening around him, but he is not looking for a true companion.

Similarly, many people live alone, particularly in urban areas. Although they are surrounded by people, they find it hard to make meaningful and deep connections.

There are many factors due to which many people live alone like:

As Gollum fights with internal conflicts, many people face mental health issues today. Due to anxiety and depression-like conditions, individuals create barriers for them. Hence, they find it hard to form and maintain relationships, which leads to living an isolated life.

Guilt and Self-Loathing

The character of Gollum portrays that he feels guilty for killing Déagol and self-loath for his past actions.

Similarly, humans also carry guilt and regret for what we have done wrong in the past.

Gollum constantly deals with his internal critic, who keeps him engaged with the internal dialogs between Gollum and Sméagol. Many people also deal with their inner harsh critic regularly. They are unaware that inner criticism is lowering their self-esteem and coming their way to live a happy and successful life.

Further, Gollum finds it hard to move on because he is haunted by his past. Likewise, many people struggle to forget their past mistakes and move on.

They keep thinking about them and remain trapped in their past stories.

Moreover, people who live in guilt and self-loathing find it hard to open up to others. They struggle to trust others and can’t build healthy and loving relationships.

Manipulation and Deceptive Behaviors

In “The Lord of the Rings,” we notice that Gollum is quite manipulative and shows his deceptive behaviors multiple times.

Similarly, many people manipulate others or situations to climb the corporate ladder. They manipulate and deceive others to gain favors.

They aren’t shy to take credit for others’ work. Such individuals don’t even feel guilty about faking a friendship for their gain.

Just as Gollum plays on the emotions of Frodo and Sam to influence their actions, many people play manipulation games in relationships. They guilt-trip and gaslight others and play the victim card.

Further, Gollum switches between his personas to manipulate others. Similarly, many people wear different masks or facades. They keep changing them to fit various social expectations.

They hide their true intentions and don’t let others know what they feel.

Fear and Survival Instinct

Gollum’s first fear is losing the Ring, and his other fear is that Sauron may catch him.

Similarly, many people fear that they may lose their jobs. They fear losing their social status. They worry about their financial security.

Like Gollum, many people react defensively or aggressively to perceived threats for their survival.

Their survival instincts wake up whenever they face competitive environments. It can be their workplace or personal relationships.

Just as Gollum shows aggressive behaviors whenever he fears and feels threatened, many people display aggression when they feel their safety is at risk. Or, when somebody comes between them and their interests.

Due to their aggressions, they face conflicts at home, workplace, or in any other social setting.

Conclusion

Gollum’s character is full of complexity, like different aspects of human nature.

How he behaves in an old story is still relevant today if you compare that with human behaviors today.

As Gollum struggles with his problems, humans in the modern world struggle with their addiction, loneliness, guilt, self-loathing, and clinginess to their material possessions.

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By Rajesh Sharma

Rajesh Sharma is a freelance IT Consultant who has found his new passion in digital writing. On this blog, he writes about Social Experience (SX) and shares tips on improving them.

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