A Prefatory Note
Tower of Death is a captivating allegory about the ultimate search for meaning in life, choices of paths, and the consequences of those choices. This allegory takes Leander, Davina and Fenton on a terrifying journey to the Tower of Death.
Leander reaches the crisis point. He has to decide, “What will I do with my life?” He sticks his hands come of age, having celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday just yesterday. It irritates him that his parents have reminded time beyond counting that he should have already decided on an occupation by now.
Quoting the from the book
Alwin the cobbler had taught him how to make shoes. He had been the best in a class of five apprentices, and Alwin had told him he would be honored to have him work in his shoe shop when he came of age. He liked making shoes, but he was not sure that he wanted to make cobbling his occupation. Yves, a craftsman, had taught him the bow making trade. He also had done well in that apprenticeship as well, but it just did not seem to be what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He had also tried his hand at fireplace building, tool forging, and had considered other possibilities. All of these pursuits were fine, but something was missing. There was a void in his life that those trades did not fill.
A number of his friends expressed feeling a similar void, but found that fretting over it accomplished nothing. Older hobbits laughed and told him that after they had chosen a field of endeavor and poured their lives into it, the feeling of emptiness eventually went away—for the most part.
But why was it there? What caused the emptiness within? That question plagued Leander and kept him from making a choice. If only he could know!
“You’re going where?” Leander’s father’s voice grated with fury. “That is not only outrageous, it’s forbidden. No one is allowed to go to that dreadful tower.”
“But father, who forbids it?” Leander set his jaw. “If, as you say, there is no king, no ruler, no one in charge in the land, then, who can forbid anything? If I am my own king and sovereign, then I can say ‘yes’ or I can say ‘no’.”
His father’s face turned as scarlet as the kerchief hanging from the back pocket of his overalls. “Blast it boy!” He flung his hands upward in a demonstration of exasperation. “I don’t know who forbids it! It doesn’t matter who forbids it! All that matters is that we all know it’s forbidden, so it’s forbidden!”
Leander’s mother sat at her spinning wheel, seemingly uninterested, though every time her husband’s voice raised the wheel whirled a little faster. She glanced up at her son. My how she wished he would do something worthwhile with his life, but it was not her place to nose in, so she stayed with her work.
“Fenton and Davina are going with me,” explained Leander. “We are leaving in the morning. I’m sorry it does not please you, father.”
And so begins their terrifying journey to the Tower of Death.
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