I'm really happy that you are of similar mind in respect to some problems of parenting!
I am still shocked that Denethor might have been so much displeased with faramir for
his contacts with Gandalf that he could have him flogged... But, evidently, already at
that time Faramir was not a very obedient son. I suppose that he was always very polite
and never overtly aggressive - but did not let himself to be ordered in important matters!
It must have annoyed poor Denethor a lot!
I would be very grateful for any further information on Faramir coming from less known
works of Tolkien!...
I do not think that we can explain all differences between Faramir and Boromir solely in
terms of genes. It is difficult to tell to what degree the personality of Faramir was
shaped by his Numenorean genes ("blood") - and to what degree it was shaped by his
experience. This is the classical "nature and nurture" controversy well known in behavioural
sciences; it is usually assumed that both these factors are important.
I agree that Tolkien put an emphasis on the importance of hereditary
factors. However, he also stressed the role of "nurture". For instance,
In his essay "on fairy tales" he wrote
"but it is one of the lessons of fairy-stories [...] that on callow, lumpish, and selfish
youth peril, sorrow and the shadow of death can bestow dignity and even
Faramir is certainly marked with sorrow - this is clearly told in the scene on the walls
of Minas Tirith when Eowyn makes him think about his mother who died young...
I have a feeling that he is so full of compassion for the sorrows of others because he
knows sorrow so well from his own experience.
I agree that both Denethor and Faramirare more intelligent and have more class
than poor Boromir. However, Faramir differs from Denethor (and Boromir) above
all by his extraordinary ability for empathy and compassion.
"Numenorean blood" ("genes") does not automatically make people so amiable as Faramir.
Many Numenoreans were not nice at all, at all!... In one of the Unfinished Tales we have a story
of a couple of Numenoreans, Aldarion and Erendis; both are eztremely selfish and their marriage
is a disaster. In that story Erendis describes Men of Numenor in the following way:
"All things were made for their service: hills are for quarries, rivers to furnish water or to turn
wheels, trees for boards, women for their body's need or if fair to adorn their table and
hearth; and children to be teased when nothing else is to do - but they would as soon play
with their hounds' whelps. To all they are gracious and kind, merry as larks in the
morning (if the sun shines) [...]. Anger they show only when they become aware,
suddenly, that there are other wills in the world beside their own. Then they will be
as ruthless as the seawind if anything dare to withstand them"
This is not very Faramir-like, is it?
And then Numenoreans were even worse! During the reign of their last king they
"sailed now with power and armoury to Middle-Earth, and they came no longer as
bringers of gifts, nor even as rulers, but as fierce men of war. And they hunted the men
of Middle-Earth and took their goods and enslaved them, and many they slew cruelly
upon their altars [...] And men feared them, and the memory of the kindly kings
of the ancient days faded from the world and was darkened by many a tale of dread"
It is also said that when the fleet of Numenoreans moved west towards the land of Aman,
they did not care for the wind, because they had "many strong slaves to row beneath
the lash". Perhaps some ancestors of Rohirrim were among these slaves? some nice young
men like Eomer and Eorl?...
So... I really do not think that "Numenorean genes" alone could explain all excellent
human qualities of Faramir!