Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Heroic Journey of a Hobbit

I used to be obsessed with Tolkien in Jr. High into High School. I remember the first time I read the hobbit was in 8th grade. That was around the time that the first Lord of the Rings movie came out. Having experienced Bilbo’s Journey and the Fellowship of the Ring at the same time made me really interested into figuring out as much about this fictional Middle-Earth as possible. I recall one of my friends having a map, and how we’d look through it trying to pinpoint all the locations of where things happened in the story. Its things like that that really bring interest into younger adolescent readers. They get intrigued by the mythical adventure, but also grow to understand the story behind it. It’s interesting going back and reading The Hobbit again as an adult and realizing all the good plot devices that so many common fantasies lacks these days.

The story can be defined as escapist literature. You’ve escaped from the jail of your life into a fantasy adventure. Tolkien really builds the whole world of middle-earth. It’s not linear, it goes in a direction and then its like “oh that reminds me of …” It’s really reminiscent of ancient folktales in it’s storytelling.

The thing with the Hobbit over other medieval fantasy is its really cunning an intelligent. Because Bilbo is a hobbit, a small humanlike creature that’s the size of a child even though he’s a middle-aged man, he results to outsmarting his enemies with wit as opposed to having an epic battle. He can’t physically defend himself the best, but he tricks Gollum by asking him the question about the ring. Gollum goes crazy looking for his ring, and Bilbo asks him if he can guess what’s in his pocket. Gollum guesses incorrectly, and Bilbo slips on the ring and vanishes out of sight.

The Hobbit has always been a tale that I’ve most enjoyed, as well as any of Tolkien’s other middle-earth stories.

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