The Hobbit Review.docx

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Department
English
Course
ENGL389
Professor
Chris Gordon- Craig
Semester
Fall

Description
The Hobbit – Review Author  J.R.R Tolkien  Born in South Africa in 1892  Bitten by a spider and became very ill (relevance in the chapter with the spiders?)  Father died unexpectedly in 1896  Brought up Roman Catholic  Mom died in 1904  A Roman Catholic Priest was his guardian  He liked to invent language games and puzzles  Scholarship to Oxford  Uses Finnish as a basis for Elvish  Starts writing the Elvish history and the history of Middle Earth  His experiences in World War I are important; he wasn’t there very long due to illness. But war shaped his view that evil can be defeated but not completely destroyed o Over Hill and Underhill. P. 59 – Tolkien brings us back to the present when he reminds us of the war  The importance of little people – little Bilbo matures into a hero Publication  Published in 1937  1,500 copies sold  Tolkien couldn’t resist making changes in the editions o Major alterations are in Ch.5 – Riddles in the Dark. Rewritten to give more life to the Ring. Makes Gollum more wretched. (To fit with LOTR)  The LOTR (1955) put The Hobbit on the map Journey of the Hero & Rites of Passage  Rites of Passage o Separation o Transition – Bilbo’s descent to the underworld in Ch.5 – Riddles in the Dark. His first big challenge  2 descent is to Smaug’s cave o Aggregation – Armed with new clothes in Ch. 13. Recognized as a hero.  Journey of the Hero Pattern: o Arming of the Hero – Bilbo armed with a Coat of Mythral and a Helmet o Educated by Gandalf – He guides Bilbo and the Dwarves, gives advice o Talisman – The magic Ring. His sword ‘Sting’ o Companions – Dwarves (Carrying Bilbo when he can’t keep up, etc.) “they took it in turn to carry him on their backs” (Tolkien pg. 62) o Obstacles to Overcome – The Trolls, The Goblins, the Riddle game with Gollum (cheats a bit, then uses ring to escape), the Spiders (kills spiders with sword, rescues the dwarves), captured by the Elves (escapes in buckets), Smaug (tricks him by getting Smaug to boast…discovers his weak spot) o Fate/Luck: Finds the magic Ring in ‘Riddles in the Dark’  Gandalf returns just in time to save Bilbo and the Dwarves from the trolls in ‘Roast Mutton’  in ‘Overhill and Underhill’, Bilbo awakes in time to see the ponies being dragged through the wall, and his scream alerts Gandalf  In Riddles in the Dark, Bilbo pleads for more time to answer, and without realizing it, time is the correct answer  Bilbo wakes up just in time to save himself from a Spider (in ‘Flies and Spiders’).  Bilbo just happens to find the secret entrance on the side of the mountain.  The archenstone – Bilbo is ‘drawn by its enchantment’. Hint of fate or destiny. It reaches out to Bilbo o Prophecy: in the last chapter, Gandalf talking about how Bilbo’s adventures and escapes were part of a prophecy o Final Battle – Battle of the 5 armies (Eagles, Goblins, Wargs, Thorin+Dwarves, Beorn) Genre  FANTASY – deals with unusual settings or happenings. Deals with complexities of existence.  Subgenres of fantasy o E PIC/HEROIC FANTASY :Unending battle of good vs. evil. Well defined landscapes. Protagonists in a battle for good. Another world (of the supernatural) moved into the real world. The Hobbit is an Epic/Heroic fantasy. There is a huge battle at the end. The scope is huge.  H EROIC: Frequently, the protagonist is reluctant to be a champion (like Bilbo). He is thrust into positions of great responsibility where he’s tested in a number of spiritual and physical challenges  E PIC:Defined either by its taking place in an imaginary world distinct from our own or by the epic stature of its characters, themes and plot (Hobbit has both) o E NCHANTED R EALISM :Not as dramatic as Epic/H
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