Some people believe that the worst punishment possible is death. I disagree.
Humans are by nature very social beings that thrive off of social interaction. Solitary confinement, in my opinion, is the worst form of punishment that a human being can endure.
Solitary confinement has driven people crazy with delusions and paranoid tendencies. This has been the theme through a lot of works including movies like Cast Away where Tom Hanks plays a stranded Fedex employee on an island in the Pacific. He reverts to caveman tactics in order to survive and in his solitude he becomes attached to the volleyball he called Wilson. He starts having conversations with the volleyball and becomes what he needs to survive.
I believe that in the Lord of the Rings Saga, Tolkien is making a commentary on loneliness. In the beginning of the story there is the shire and pretty scenery and even more beautiful as the fellowship is formed.
In Rivendell the fellowship is formed and here is probably the most elegant scenery in the saga. I feel that Frodo alienates himself throughout periods in the series and this is reflected in the situation and environment. As Frodo leaves the fellowship he enters the journey out of the forrest and into a rocky path that will lead him to Mordor.
As he even leaves Sam behind he enters Shelob’s lair which is disgusting. Dead bodies, sticky webs, and a giant spider the caves which is guarded by Cirith Ungol, sound pretty dark and scary, which being alone is like.
By the time Frodo gets saved by Sam he is on the brink of death. I think this is a message sent out by Tolkien that no should ever be so big to not accept the health of others, especially in times of peril.
The path gets brighter as they make their way to Mount Doom, but not for a good reason. There’s lava over there. Its right to the bare Earth, much like Frodo’s humanity. The ring has caused him to become very short with others and that kindness that he has been worn away as the weight of the power he holds is about to consume him.
As you look through the saga either in novel or movie form you can easily make the connection of Frodo’s condition with the condition of the environment and how the people around him affect him.