Essay for paper: good argument and knowledge of material and organization
Thematic issues: good vs. evil, doom vs. free will
Comparison of C. S. Lewis and reaction against/to secular modernism
Examination of popular explosion in '60s.
Hobbits have no part in Fisrt and Second Age.
The Hobbit is a drastic change in style: much cosier
Myth vs Faerie Tale
Myth= tragic w/ some Hero as central figure ->some major theme involved. Main character starts high and ends low.
Faerie Tale= start w/ a humble character, using cleverness and luck, reaches a higher plateau -> achieving the goal.
Hobbits are an anachronixm -> they are late 19th century English rustics, while rest of ME is medieval.
Tolkien had a little contempt for Hobbits (as seen from his Letters). [I thought he was v. fond of Hobbits and thought of himself as one]
Hobbits are smug and parochial, things done differently was "odd or queer".
BUT, there is more to Hobbits than meets the eye.
Hobbits have simple needs =>they appeal to children, therefore they make for good children's story.
Maslow Psychology Scale:
|ADULT: Intellectual Spiritual||Ghandi/Martin Luther/Jesus|
|ADOLESCENT: Peer Respect Self||Conan|
|CHILD: Sex, Food, Security||Hobbits/Bugs Bunny/cartoons|
Hobbit ->'Hob'(hobgoblin) + 'rabbit'
The Hobbit is a tale of coming of age. "There is no race less likely to be heroes" [the vehicle to show how the low are made aware of the high/noble]
After publication of Hobbit, Tolkien feverishly is retrfitting the Hobbit into the older material (eg The Quest for Erebor). Backwards Creation ->revisions to the Hobbit incorporate the older material: eg original version of Riddles in the Dark.
Character Development of Bilbo:
Why didn't Sauron "notice" Bilbo when he put on the RIng in
Mirkwood, which is so close to Dol Guldur? Tolkien explains Sauron
was looking south and not North. [isn't the attack on Dol Guldur
about this time?]
Also, the effect of the Ring is quite different from the Hobbit to LotR. In the Hobbit the RIngs is a simple "magic token" confering invisibility. This is later explained as entering the Shadow World of Sauron.
Point: Tolkien expended a lot of effort in retro-subcreation: trying to retro-fit the Hobbit into the older mythos.
Eagles = deus ex machina (machine of god), sometimes thought of as a "cop out" since the eagles seem to be in the right place all the time - this seems to imply predestination.
Glimpses of the First Age in the Hobbit description of Wood elves. Also, old feud of elves and dwarves (Thingol and Dwarves of Nagrod/sack of Doriath)
Psychoanalysis of Dwarves on pg 21
Pride and Greed: the two major transgressions in Middle-earth conscious element in Tolkien's work ->which was an act of sub- creation. He didn't want to succumb to the temptation of viewing his mythos as his -> possessiveness. Otherwise, he was doing the work of Morgoth. That's why he downplayed his role as "creator" as opposed to "historical recorder".
West vs. East Dragons
East = wise, advisers, luck
West = evil, ancient force of nature, acquisitive
"Dragons are evil incarnate"
Dragon/Tolkien/Beowulf In Beowulf, the Dragon ravages the countryside after theft of cup -- same as Hobbit
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