Many people have different interpertations of what the Lord of the Lord of the Rings means, but in order to understand it, you have to understand J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien was very religious, and he put much of his beliefs of society and God into his writtings. Below I have some common interpertations of the different characters and themes in the Lord of the Rings.
Some interperate Frodo's journey to represent an illistration of christ,because Frodo like christ, took the burden of the Ring to save Middle-Earth. I believe that Frodo represents the hero in the book. Even though in the end, he failed, I consider him a hero because he took the burden when know one else would and when there seemed to be no hope left. That is an act of heroism. Roger Sale states; "He is saved from the worst ravages of the ring because he binds himself to others rather than to love power, and that is his heroism."
The Hobbits represent deciples of the Lord, or in the book, Frodo. They stay with Frodo through the good and the bad and will fight for him to their deaths. "Sam is meant to be lovable and laughable. Some readers he imitates and even infuriates. I can well understand it. All hobbits at times affect me in the same way, though I ramain very fond of them." J.R.R. Tolkien.
Sauron represents Satan,because like Sauron, Satan was once good. He represents the evil power in Middle-Earth.
The Ring represents temptation. The ring is evil because it was made by Sauron. The power of the ring can be interperated as temptation. The ring is power, and when one falls into the temptation of the ring, then Sauron's evil power will corrupt them. You can think of it this way, Satan tries to tempt us, and when we fall into tempation, we are corrupted by him.
Some people say that the Elves represent the confirmed goodness because they are the wise ones that understand the power of the ring. "They regect it [the ring] because using the Ring to do good would be attempting to use Satan's power to fo good, and this will inevitably defeat the good purpose and turn it to evil" Richard Purtill. Here is a quote from Tolkien tells how he feels. "The Elves represent, as it were, the artistic,aesthetic, and purely scientific aspects of the Humane nature raised to a higher level taht is actually seen in man".
Saruman and Gollum
Saruman and Gollum represent the free ones because they had a chose to be good or evil. As soon as we understand good and bad, we have a choice to do either good or bad. Gollum and Saruman were once good, but they fell under tempation to do evil, but that was their choice not to resist it.
Men represent the fallen. In the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien makes it a point to show that men are weak and often fall to temptation, Like Isildur. Isildur had the chance to destroy the Ring, but his heart was weak and he wanted power, and so he kept it.
Some say that Gandalf represents Christ because he came back from death as Gandalf the White and others say he represents the goodness of Middle-Earth. There is one important interpertation that we can get from Gandalf. It is that he was wise, and understood the power of the Ring. He also represents Faith. Gandalf had faith in Frodo. He somehow knew that Frodo could undertake the burrded of the Ring. "Gandalf as Ring-Lord would have been far worse than Sauron. He would have remained righteous, but self-righteous. He would have continued to rule and order things for good and the benfit of his subjects accrding to his wisdom(which was and would have remained great.)" J.R.R. Tolkien.
The Fellowship represents different races comming together. I believe that the message here is that in time of hardship, we must all come together, despite are differences. Just think, Elves hated Dwarves until Legolas and Gimli became friends. We sometimes do not realize that we are not really that different from other people until something bad happens and we are forced to see things through other peoples' views. In the end we realize that they have the same feelings as we do.