The Hobbit Literary Analysis

1260 Words6 Pages

Hero’s Journey Essay
Literary Analysis of The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

What happens when one day a cloaked figure asks you to join a group of heavily bearded men in search for treasure in a dragon’s lair? Bilbo is fortunate enough to experience such a peculiar invitation, but the Baggins side of him is quick in refusal. Yet off he still goes from his warm and fuzzy hobbit hole in the Shire to the desolate land of Dain, where he learns to prove his worth amongst his hot-tempered Dwarf companions. Along the way, allies are made, secrets kept and human desires put into play, eventually culminating in the concluding battles where Bilbo plays a pivotal role in the management of order in the fellowship. The Hobbit mirrors the world during the time …show more content…

Hobbits are known to be unassuming folk “who disappear quietly and quickly” (3). The story begins with a picture of the humdrum life of the hobbits peppered with descriptions of the mundane, from Bilbo’s house to his “enormous long wooden pipe that reached nearly down to his woolly toes (neatly brushed)” (3); Tolkien makes sure that the reader knows that Bilbo is of an unremarkable sort. Bilbo, a hobbit of Baggins and Took lineage, displays his Baggins’ side when he first hears of the wizard Gandalf’s seemingly nonchalant proposition. The Bagginses are known to be “very respectable … because they never had any adventures or did anything expected” (3). Anxious of whatsoever good a perilous undertaking would offer, and its sure likelihood of death, the gentlemanly Mr. Baggins flatly declines: “We are plain, quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable things” (4). This refusal is borne out of a life which, up to that point, has been of second breakfasts, smoke-rings, and morning letters. His dismissive tone, however belie his adventurous Took blood. Later, in an attempt to quell the dwarves’ suspicions and introduce a lighter mood, Gandalf’s tone shifts from oratorical to comical, even sympathetic as he reassures them that though Bilbo “gets funny queer fits, (but) he is one of the best-- as fierce as a dragon in a …show more content…

Tolkien’s highly intricate imagery of malignance makes apparent the uncertainty encircling the company and sets the frightful mood over which Bilbo’s courage must prevail. His ominous description of Mirkwood Forest explains the hesitation in the company to pass onto the realm where “The entrance to the path was like a sort of arch leading into a gloomy tunnel”(153). The imagery evoked by “Trees … too old and strangled with ivy… to bear more than a few blackened leaves” (153) places the reader in the foreboding atmosphere in which the company is presently ensnarled, and effectively forewarns of sorcery, monsters and misery at play. Days into the forest, constant hunger gnaws at the company, leading them to disperse round and round in an entranced dream-like state. Then, somewhere in the pitch-dark night, Bilbo strikes dead a most nefarious enemy. The elation felt by the hobbit afterwards is one of great significance. Somehow, the killing of the giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark…made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach”(170). Bilbo’s first triumph forces him to recognize the strength he commands. The change is further displayed when he names his sword Sting, alluding to the heroism incited in him by the entrapping wretchedness. This act also resolves for the reader why Bilbo’s sword is

Open Document