For anyone whose life has been touched in some way by the spectre of doctoral research – an insightful comparison between the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the arduous process of earning a PhD:
Read Susie J. Lee's "Frodo Baggins, A.B.D." on the site of the Chronicle of Higher EducationOn their way to file the dissertation, Sam and Frodo separate one time. The separation is the result of a deception spun by a fallen soul named Gollum -- aka, the doctoral candidate who will never finish.Gollum lived with the ring for many years and it destroyed his life, mind, and well-being. Gollum is the living image of what Frodo will become if Frodo cannot complete his task. Frodo in fact pities Gollum, while Sam can only feel disgust and distrust for the miserable creature.If the ring is to be destroyed -- and the dissertation finished -- new alliances must be formed. Without that fellowship, Frodo's quest is doomed. But a partner alone cannot provide enough support for the difficult mission.