The Hero's Journey In The Hobbit

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Michael Shermer, a science writer and historian of science said, “Humans are pattern-seeking story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.” In J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, the main protagonist, joins a group of dwarves to recover their lost, forgotten gold from Smaug the dragon. Joseph Campbell’s A Hero with a Thousand Faces, he states that many legendary heros follow a pattern in their adventures. Matthew Winkler has his own ideas of the heroic quest pattern, stating the hero's follow a pattern of eleven stages. Both The Hobbit and the heroic journey have similar elements with departure, initiation and then return. Many heroes do not automatically start their…show more content…
Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and Winkler believe after the hero’s departure, they are faced with a trial or many trails to overcome when they finally meet their biggest enemy, “The hero undergoes a series of trials often on a perilous journey.” (Campbell) Bilbo’s first trial is after Bilbo escapes from Gollum which he is reunited with the dwarves and are surrounded by Wargs but after it seems all hope is lost, eagles swoop down and save the adventures before it is too late. In Mirkwood, the dwarves and Bilbo are starving when they get captured by spiders, and Bilbo has to save them, “Bilbo saw that the moment had come when he must do something.”(Tolkien 64) Bilbo escapes by himself and then finds the dwarves trapped and defenseless against a mob of spiders which Bilbo has to defeat by calling them names, and angering them until Bilbo has unraveled the dwarves. Bilbo’s third trial is finding a way for the dwarves to escape the wood-elves palace. When the guard is drunk, Bilbo lets the dwarves out by stealing the keys and pushing the dwarves into barrels. After a hero’s many trials, they face their ultimate enemy, and for Bilbo that is Smaug, the dragon. Smaug shares qualities from the other does Bilbo faced, but with more powers and fearsomeness. Facing many new enemies in his trials, they all leave Bilbo something in return for defeating them such as the knowledge that no adventurer will be left behind, courage and respect from the dwarves as he helped set them free when all hope seemed to be lost, confidence and willingness to fight and lastly, the knowledge that while his friends can protect him, he can protect his friends. Bilbo’s Tookish side is now overwhelming his Baggins side as he become more of a hero everyday which is from such as instead of being saved, Bilbo is saving himself and others, “he had first of all to

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