Examining The Extraordinary Characters In The Hobbit English Literature Essay


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The supernatural and extraordinary characters in 'The Hobbit' fit the typical characters of the monomyth pattern and fantasy genre. The differences among Tolkien's imaginary races are a major focus of the novel. Elves, dwarves, trolls and goblins fluctuate from one another physically, physiologically, and morally. These innate racial differences radically limit the possibility of individual choice but make ethical distinctions simple to maintain. In an archetypal quest, readers expect should find the evil being defeated by the protagonist, because this is a fantasy novel. The examples of the superior fantastical characters being defeated by the travelling party are when Bilbo defeats Gollum in the riddle contest (pg 70-84). Gandalf appears in the tunnel and kills the Great Goblin, therefore helping the dwarves and Bilbo escape (pg 57-63), and Smaug the dragon and guardian of the treasure is killed by Bard before the war (pg 231-232.) The amount of magic and supernatural elements in this book is truly astounding. Every major event in the entire story has at least a hint of magic or fantasy in it. Many novels run on fantasy, but in this one it seems to be a dominating force. The story combines all types of fantasy, which is what makes it one of the greatest books of that genre ever. Therefore, through this convention, Tolkien has achieved his purpose of taking readers to a world filled with imagination.

The Setting of 'The Hobbit' is an imaginary world of enormous scope, convincing detail and hypnotic attraction. The geography of Bilbo Baggin's journey is particularly well presented. Tolkien paints a picture of a still largely archaic world consisting of ancient forests, rugged mountains and desolated regions of terror. It is a world rising slowly into the full noon of society, gradually exploring its confines and taming its wild places. The mystical setting for 'The Hobbit' is the hill, Hobbiton, Rivendell, Misty Mountains, The Island of Gollum, Mirkwood, the Prison of the Wood-Elves, the Lonely Mountain, Long Lake and Esgaroth. The setting in 'The Hobbit' insists that the reader uses their imagination to illuminate images of what unmarked words might be like when man dominated his most despised rival. This imagination is used through deep description and imagery to convey Tolkien's purpose. Examples of the use of the setting in the plot are when the travelling party leave Rivendell and enter the Misty Mountains and get captured by the Goblins (pg 57-63), when the dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf go the house of the skin-changer, Beorn, who lives near the forest of Mirkwood (pg 108-111) and when the party make their second last stop at Esgaroth before the Lonely Mountains (pg 182-187.) Since 'The Hobbit' takes place in a world of the authors own creation, complete with its own history, language, geography and mythology, much of the narrative is devoted to incidental descriptions of the places, people and things that Bilbo encounter. As a result, Middle-Earth emerges as a finely detailed reality with a convincing visual presence and unique atmosphere. The setting of 'The Hobbit' is fits the form heroic quest across the universe, and due to this, it takes readers to a new imaginary world which is Tolkien's purpose.

"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival." This quote by Sir Winston Churchill says it all about the need of a great battle in a fantasy novel. Without an epic battle in which the hero is nearly defeated, ultimate victory would not be so sweet. This relates to J.R.R Tolkien purpose in creating a book to fulfil and take imaginations to a great depth in finding a new world with new people. In 'The Hobbit' this is in the form of the battle of five armies. A battle is also seen in 'The Hobbit,' proving it to be a fantastical conventions and a way for J.R.R Tolkien to convey his purpose of taking readers to an imaginary world. In 'The Hobbit,' when travelling through the Misty Mountains, Bilbo, Thorin and their companions were captured by a colony of the Orcs in those regions. With Gandalf's help they escaped, but also killed the Great Goblin. So the scene was set for a confrontation between the Wood-elves and Lake-men on the one side, and the Dwarves of Thorin and Dáin on the other. This is the point from where the battle started. The battle was ferocious, and as it went on, it was joined by others the Eagles out of the Misty Mountains, and even Beorn himself in the shape of a monstrous bear. By nightfall the Orcs were defeated. Thorin was also slain, making a bold attack against the bodyguard of Bolg, and with him fell his young nephews Fíli and Kíli. Bolg was killed by Beorn and the Goblins were destroyed. Many died of the dwarves and the other armies. The setting has a big effect on the great battle that Tolkien is trying to convey his message through. "The clouds were torn by the wind and a red sunset dashed the west, … he had seen a sight that made his heart leap, dark shapes small yet majestic against the distant glow." Therefore as the "good" armies won after the eagles arrived, and victory was made sweet before the journey home.

Tolkien's book, 'The Hobbit', is thematic to the fantasy genre is many ways. From these roots Tolkien builds on a novel that contains the fantasy conventions of supernatural and mythical creatures, the imaginary setting and great battle, to convey his purpose in the Hobbit. This purpose, to take readers to an unseen, fantastical world filled with imagination, allowing readers to suspend their disbelief and accept the unordinary world. His book has endured popularity as it is meticulously written. The details transport readers to a new world. This book radiates fantasticality at the flick of every page and therefore is used for Tolkien to convey his purpose.

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