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Old 02-20-2005, 09:47 AM   #1
Ruoutorin
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The Annoying Hobbit

When I was a child (in sixth grade) the first "taste" of Tolkien that I had was a class reading of The Hobbit with a subsequent test on The Hobbit. Although I had to read it through, I just could not get into it, and wound up with a 65% on the test which was the lowest score that I ever received in my life before or after this test. Some years later I read the Lord of the Rings, which I loved and couldn't get enough of. At this point I tried The Hobbit again, and this time I was able to finish it quickly, but I still didn't like it. Shortly after that I read the Silmarillian (which I think is the best novel that I have ever read, and I've read novels uncounted) and the Unfinished Tales which I also loved.
Recently I picked up the Annotated Hobbit. I began reading it myself in the hope that the notations would tie The Hobbit more into the LotR and the Sil and make me see The Hobbit in a different light or as a prequal to LotR and worthy of the same status. Although the notes are excellent, I still, after all these years, find the story of The Hobbit distasteful.
The Hobbit depicts Dwarves as bumbling and goofy. Thorin acts nothing like a Dwarven King **glares angrily at Tolkien**. Gandalf is portrayed as somwhat of a cartoon wizard and Bilbo, oh Bilbo, reminds me of Winnie the Pooh (oh bother!). The Elves sing silly songs and tease people. And Gollum, I don't even want to talk about him. Bilbo is sitting near Gollum in his cave and Bilbo has the One Ring in his pocketessss and Gollum can't sense that something's up??? Gollum has already worn or carried the Ring nearly 500 years by this point. In LotR Gollum follows Frodo and Sam to the most perilous destinations (Mordor) in order to pursue the Ring. Why do we never see him again after the encounter in his cave???? The account that Tolkien gives of Gollums wanderings afterwards are pretty lame. I have more complaints, but I think I have relayed my point. I am quite aware that the Hobbit was written as a children's book, but I still do not see this as an excuse to make all of the characters "bumbling" and then use them in a story where they are expected to be respected. If Tolkien needed to change the characters personalities then he should have changed the characters altogether, no?
Does anyone feel the same as I do about The Hobbit???? I feel so alone lol.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:27 AM   #2
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You are not so alone. ;-)

I read the Hobbit after reading Lord of the Rings and I could not get into it. The way of writing does not fascinate me in the way Lord of the Rings did.
But after having read the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, I started to read again and saw the Hobbit in another light. It wasn't still another story with relations to Lord of the Rings. No, it was a part of the world, which have discovered while reading the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.
It fascinates me at once, but the style of wrinting was not the reason.
The reason was, that there are so many new details of the world and my view has changed from the "delight-of-reading"-view to the "give-me-more-knowledge-over-the-world"-view.
I didn't pay attention to the picture of the characters I saw in the Hobbit. The great-context was important.

The Hobbit is today (for me) important to understand Tolkien's process of writing, to look into the beginning of his writings (also when it is not the very first beginning). It has more similarity with the Book of Lost Tales in the style of writing. You can catch a glimpse of the world, how Tolkien has designed it before writing Lord of the Rings, which has diorganize the world totally.
Because of Lord of the Rings and so many questions concerning the mythology after the outcoming of the "Triology" , Tolkien had to made a new concept.

Finally, the Hobbit stands by me "in the same row" as the Book of Lost Tales and all the other books of the beginning.
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Old 02-20-2005, 12:45 PM   #3
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I have some sympathy since although I loved the story when it was on "Jackanory" oh so many years ago and bought the book becasue I missed the final episode, I seldom reread the Hobbit (or indeed the early chapters of LOTR) because of the dominant style. However, if you read the history of LOTR you will see how things changed. The Hobbit had, almost by accident acquired links with the world of the Silmarillion created long before and ineveitably in a children's book they are diluted.

However do not be too hard on "The Hobbit" - remember that it is of a similar era to Winnie the Pooh (which I love btw) - that was the style of children's books..... it does have its moments - think of the death of Thorin if you wish for dignity...... Also, while I love the LOTR more as the sequel to the Silmarillion than as the sequel to the Hobbit (I was always an elf fancier rather than a hobbitphile), bear in mind that the only reason we have The LOTR is becasue of the popularity of the Hobbit. THe publishers would not touch the Sil. So no Hobbit, no LOTR, no Sil, no UT, no HoME.
So I am very grateful to it for introducing me to the wider world of Middle Earth even thought it is not something I read much as an adult.
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:16 PM   #4
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A good natured rant in which Child defends The Hobbit

Those are "fighting words"!

It's interesting that my own experience was so completely different than your own. I first read The Hobbit long years ago (at about 12 years old) and absolutely loved it. In fact, it was reading The Hobbit that led me to search for more material by Tolkien. By the mid sixties, I stumbled onto first the Ace and then the Ballentine paperback editions, both of which I still own.

On several occasions I have heard other posters on this site express their frustration with the early chapters of Lord of the Rings along with The Hobbit itself. I've also heard some folk say that the character of Bilbo frustrates them with his "littleness". Yet the early chapters of LotR are among my personal favorites. Go figure?! What makes one person's favorite another person's headache? I have no idea.

I will say this. The Hobbit has a curious mixture of elements typical of a children's book mixed in with other themes and symbols that are much more adult. It's easy to get fixed on the intrusive narrator voice, the seemingly child-like characters, or the obvious discrepencies between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Yet there is a great deal more to the story than this.

Like many "classic" children's tales, The Hobbit is a story of growth and development. The Bilbo and the Dwarves of the final chapters of the book have changed greatly from what they were in the beginning. We see Bilbo evolve from a hobbit wholly concerned with tea and pocket handkerchiefs to assume the role of leader and peacemaker. In giving up the Arkenstone, Bilbo steps to another level. Moreover, even though Tolkien did not realize it at the time, this act of renunciation is a foreshadowing of the later scene where Bilbo is able to give up the Ring. If I have one "gripe", it is that there is a general tendency among readers of LotR to downplay what Bilbo did. In a Shire gripped by conformity, he was the first to break through the sameness: to assert his individual likes and dislikes, passing tales on to the youngsters. Believe me....it is never easy to be first. People who come later have no idea what you've faced and only complain that you didn't accomplish more!

I find these changes in Bilbo both interesting and endearing. And however "silly" the Elves may be in certain portions of the book, the final battle and their part in it is a more serious matter. Elrond lends a grace to the story, and I was always taken with Rivendell. Nor do I find the dwarves so "bumbly" after several of them give up their lives fighting for what they believe.

We've had previous discussions about the role of archetypes in reference to Lord of the Rings. In reality, The Hobbit lends itself more easily to such an interpretation. Gandalf, for example, is alternately the trickster and the wise old man. Bilbo similarly experiences a symbolic rebirth by descending into the cave of the goblins. In fact there are three descents into the "underworld": Gollum's cave; the realm of the wood Elves; and the descent into Smaug's hoard. In each case, Bilbo emerges older and wiser.

I personally don't feel that The Hobbit is similar to The Lost Tales. For one thing, the Hobbit has a humor that is lacking in Lost Tales and from most of Tolkien's earlier writing. Lost Tales grew out of the experiences that Tolkien had in the trenches of World War I. (On this, see John Garth's book.) By contrast, the Hobbit grew out of his personal experiences as a father. And needless to say, without The Hobbit, there would be no Lord of the Rings. Until that point, the critical link in Tolkien's writing was missing, and that link was the creation of hobbits. To be frank, I love the Silmarillion but find much of it somewhat depressing. With the exception of Earendil and Luthien/Beren, there are too few moments of eucatastrophe. I have a fondness for the tale of Numenor, but that was not developed till after the LotR was written, and hence also owes a debt back to The Hobbit.

My one regret is that we've never had a serious discussion on the Downs about The Hobbit. I think there is a lot to be mined there that is often overlooked. (Hint, hint...somebody start a thread. )

One last personal observation.... The Hobbit is a book that is perhaps best read out loud. It was only after reading it to my young daughter that I caught many of the humerous glimpses and best appreciated the tale as a whole. Perhaps, that shouldn't be surprising since Tolkien himself actually wrote and tested the story with his own children in mind. I will agree that The Hobbit is primarily a children's book, and Tolkien had not yet evolved to his full abilities as a writer. Yet, it was a vital link in this development and, without it, this website and the LotR would simply not exist.

Rant over....
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Child of the 7th Age
My one regret is that we've never had a serious discussion on the Downs about The Hobbit. I think there is a lot to be mined there that is often overlooked. (Hint, hint...somebody start a thread.)
Sometime in the future, when we finish the Chapter-by-Chapter discussions of LotR, maybe we should tackle the Hobbit next! I think there's a lot to be gleaned from it and have come to appreciate it more in recent years than I used to...
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:50 PM   #6
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It's a children's book. There is going to be dancing and silliness. It was never intended to be part of anything greater. Having said that, it still fits in remarkably well.
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Old 02-20-2005, 04:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Child
My one regret is that we've never had a serious discussion on the Downs about The Hobbit. I think there is a lot to be mined there that is often overlooked. (Hint, hint...somebody start a thread. )
Aren't we supposed to be following up the LotR CbC with one on The Hobbit? (Or did I dream that?)

I have to agree with Child. The Hobbit is special to me, in some ways more than LotR. Of course LotR is by far the greater work & has affected me more profoundly than TH, but....how can I put it? TH was my doorway into Middle-earth, so it will always seem more 'magical' than LotR. When that 'door' opened & I saw the morning sun shining down on Bilbo sitting outside Bag End, smoking his pipe 'in the quiet of the world, when there was less noise & more green', I felt like I'd come home.

I love The Hobbit.
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Old 02-20-2005, 05:08 PM   #8
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And what's more, The Hobbit has a great big dragon in it, and what's better than a great big dragon?
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Old 02-20-2005, 05:19 PM   #9
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Boots

A pile of treasure. And spiders. Big spiders.
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Old 02-20-2005, 05:24 PM   #10
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Pipe

Big spiders are good too. And so are big eagles. And so is Gollum. And Wargs. And it has a bloke who turns into a bear.

The Hobbit has all of these things. But mostly, it has a big dragon.
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Old 02-20-2005, 05:25 PM   #11
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White Tree

I was about to add many of the things posted by Esty, Eomer, and davem; but then I got distracted and they all were said for me. And then I cross posted with Lal and Bethberry who pointed out all the Hobbit's most fabulous assets, leaving me little else to say .

However, I wanted to add that even though I love the Hobbit (and I second Child's recommendation of reading aloud!), that I've only been able to integrate it with the rest of the Legendarium by reminding myself that Bilbo is supposed to be the author. Even though Bilbo did grow and change on his journey, you can see in the early chapters of LOTR just how hobbitish he really remained. By the time Frodo returns from his journey and writes LOTR, he's barely hobbitty at all because his adventure changed him so much.

I always remember that Bilbo, a very bumbling hobbit himself, is bringing his very very Shire-based perceptions to bear on the story and the characters.

And I like the laughing elves. They're so sad and dignified and tragic through most of the story, I'm glad that Tolkien saw fit to give them one laughing moment.

~Sophia
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Old 02-20-2005, 06:57 PM   #12
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Child of the 7th Age has expressed my feeling toward The Hobbit exactly. I first read it (actually, had it read to me) when I was about five or six; I instantly loved it and my opinion of it has never really changed. It's true that I like The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion more - but I have never shared the "well, it's only a children's book" attitude of some other fans. What is a children's book, anyway? In my view, The Hobbit is perfectly well suited for readers of any age and is a good deal better than most fiction aimed at adults. Nor do I see it as being at odds with Middle-earth as depicted elsewhere. I think that a large part of the difference that some perceive is in fact not at all related to the story itself but rather to the narrative tone, which is undeniably different from that in LotR.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:28 PM   #13
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Many plaudits to Child of the Seventh Age!

Strangely, though I read the Hobbit after the Lord of the Rings I have always loved it too. I think that I had tapped into Tolkien's 'book within a book' concept ie the Lord of the Rings essentially being an ancient copy of the Red Book of Westmarch, written by Frodo et al, and languishing high on a dusty shelf in the Bodleian library until the Prof discovered it one drizzly summer's afternoon when the cricket had been abandoned due to poor light.

Now to run with the Hobbit, I see it as a 'children's book within a children's book'. Although the Prof claims to have written it for his children, I strongly suspect that Bilbo wrote it to entertain his young relatives when they were a similar age. Therefore, when one comes back to it after LoTR, it's a bit like a detective story - how does it fit together with the 'real world' of Middle Earth? Through Bilbo's tale we get to see entire additional swathes of Middle Earth, and if the style appears childish, just remember that while it was Frodo's bedtime story, it also covers events of great significance and seriousness. After all, if it was written in the highfalutin idiom of Gondor, the tale wouldn't have been half so entertaining I'm sure.
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:15 AM   #14
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Time for me to get serious and defend The Hobbit (beyond the fact that it has a dragon in it)

Firstly, The Hobbit was written as a children's book, so will necessarily have a different style to LotR. It will be simpler in tone, less complex and have more vivid imagery. These kind of things work in children's books, and are possibly essential to appeal to the younger mind. Having more vivid images can go a long way in explaining why the Dwarf characters are often comic, and why Gandalf is more humorous and tricksy.

The Hobbit is also something of a classic fairy tale. We are introduced to a new character, a little person, who lives in an exaggerated version of our world at its best, and one day he's swept away on a journey. And on this journey he encounters all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures and people. There are pixies in the form of the Elves, monsters in the form of Smaug and the orcs, and horror in the form of Gollum. But at the end of it all, Bilbo lives happily ever after, just as he should.

I think it does help if The Hobbit is the first of the books any new reader approaches, purely because LotR is such a monster of a book that it would overshadow anything. And The Hobbit doesn't deserve that. It's wonderful in its own right.

The style is possibly a little old fashioned to many brought up on the 'realistic' tales that are nowadays seemingly deemed more appropriate for children than fairy tales, but it is no different to that found in books by Enid Blyton or Arthur Ransome. And I wouldn't say its altogether far from JK Rowling's style, episodic and quite vivid.

And anyway, it has my favourite character in it, Bilbo.
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Old 02-21-2005, 11:30 AM   #15
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I think there is something in the best read aloud theory. As I mentioned, I was enchanted when Bernard Cribbins read it on Jackanory when I was about 8.

I found a littel quote in UT today which may be helpful to those who are antagonistic or ambivalent, when Gandalf says that the story would have been a bit different if he had written it.... now that is something to conjure with
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Old 02-21-2005, 12:55 PM   #16
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Tolkien

My post will be short as Child and Sophia the Thunder Mistress has said most of what needs to be said.

I love the Hobbit...sometimes I love it even more than LotR and the Sil (well...it doesn't take much for something to make me like it more than the Sil...but heh). The Hobbit is realer to me, in a certain aspect, than LotR ever was. In the Hobbit I know Bilbo...I can relate to him and the dwarves. In LotR it is different. Though still real the characters are untouchable. Far off. Who could ever hope of relating to Aragorn or Frodo, or even Sam? Tolkien made them to be figures afar off, figures that were unrelatable. In part, that is why I like the Hobbit better sometimes than LotR.

And as for the laughing elves who sang silly songs....I love that. Combined with the somber elves of LotR the elves are instantly changed from just being silly (or somber) to a complex race.

I love the Hobbit. As Lalwende said, there's a big dragon in it. That talks in riddles.

Bloody brilliant.
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Old 02-22-2005, 11:19 AM   #17
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I am grateful for everyone's response! Maybe it's just a matter of taste. I like the Sil more for it's tragic nature (the tales of Turin and Hurin, et al, appeal to me more then the tale of Beren & Luthien) and I appreciated the view into what the races of ME endured to get them to the point where they are in the LotR. The Hobbit, to me at least, doesn't really fit into that scheme. Yes, there is a dragon, but I never could vision Smaug to be in the same league as Glaurung. For me, there is just something missing in The Hobbit.
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Old 02-22-2005, 12:43 PM   #18
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Tolkien

Quote:
Yes, there is a dragon, but I never could vision Smaug to be in the same league as Glaurung.
In a sense he wasn't. However, I always thought that the two characters were fairly similar.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:26 PM   #19
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Tralalalally YEE hee!

Quote:
The Elves sing silly songs and tease people.
I've responded to this elsewhere, specifically:

Tril-lil-lil-lolly, or bust.

Regarding tralalalallying

With the value that Tolkien placed on being merry, I'm glad his most profound characters also have the ability to chuckle. Or even guffaw.
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:00 PM   #20
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Ruotorin wrote:
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Yes, there is a dragon, but I never could vision Smaug to be in the same league as Glaurung.
Interesting. To me, Smaug has always seemed to be one of the things that most emphatically connected The Hobbit with the rest of Tolkien's mythology. Smaug and Glaurung are different characters, yes. But I have always thought that, like Glaurung, Smaug epitomizes a peculiarly Draconian kind of evil - a mix of malice, cunning, arrogance, and playfulness. Smaug's riddling conversation with Bilbo has, I think, very much the same tone as the exchanges between Turin and Glaurung.
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Old 02-22-2005, 02:00 PM   #21
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Silmaril

The Hobbit is a wonderful book in its own right and although it seems much lighter in tone than the LotR, I do not believe it should be dismissed as a children's book.
The story of Bilbo's journey 'There and Back Again' is told in a fairy tale style, but has at its heart a deeper, darker meaning. Bilbo meets all manner of cruel and twisted 'monsters', even some of the elves are a threat and we are in no doubt that in his riddling contest with Gollum, his very life is at stake.
It could be argued that many children's tales have a 'dark heart'; those of the Brothers Grimm come to mind.
However, Bilbo's journey is one he experiences both externally and internally. He is a much changed hobbit at the end of his adventure than the quite complacent little person we met at the beginning.

Lalwendë said:

Quote:
I think it does help if The Hobbit is the first of the books any new reader approaches, purely because LotR is such a monster of a book that it would overshadow anything.
This is true. However, reading 'The Hobbit' first also prepares us for the world and the story of 'The Lord of the Rings' just as Bilbo's adventure prepares Frodo for his adventures to follow.
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Old 02-23-2005, 03:51 PM   #22
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Tolkien

One fine day a writer drew a circle and wrote underneath , "Once there lived a hobbit..." That is where it starts .

As you all know Tolkien wrote the book for his children . But , as he said , children grew and so the story had to aswell . Ofcourse it got more complicated .

I grew up still at the Soviet system which provided a lot of corrections in books . I was 4 when I first became aware of the book . As a child I saw the pictures on the covers which indicated that it indeed is a children's book . I began to read but stoped doing that for whatwas written there was too complicated for a 4 year old so I started to look over the illustrations . After that day I was panically afraid of the book , I even had nightmares . Can you imagine what had they done ? All of the pictures were dim , dark , horrifying , full of monsters . Actually the pictures were mostly only of monsters as the person who drew them had seen them . Needless to saythat I never touched the book again .

Long years passed and after FotR came out in the theaters I remembered that once there was a book about hobbits somewhere in my shelves . Indeed . I found it but what I saw there was a true disaster . The dwarves in the illustrations were really ... more like garden gnomes , Bilbo was ...red-haired and withall the hair up in the air not to mention the nude elves . Thranduil was green with branches in his hair . It took me a while to get over all of that and I finally began to read . Most of the book was translated wrong or simply ridiculous . But no matter , I read it and found it to be no children's book at all . Even though the language was as simple as it could be , the story was quite hard and full of horror that you could sence . And besidesall that the ending is not quite the 'hapily ever after' one . There are losses . Many die , which is not a characteristic feature for fairy tales . Also the beginning of the journey is very depressive for Bilbo for noone wishes to talk to him , think him useless .That also I found hard to take . And it didn't end like that . He was an outcast with the dwarves untill he finally got their respect but when he finally did , the journey had ended and he went back home where he became an outcast for not being one by the dwarves anymore . From the series of 'you can't get something if you do not lose another thing' . Psycologically hard to take . Though for one thing it is a children's book indeed - if you read it to children . For they tend to see the good and the funny in it even if only because they know nought of psycology . So it only depends on what age are you at when you read it first .

And still , The Hobbit is one of my favorite books , with all its dragons , wood Elves , spiders , Gandalf's pine cones and undeveloped Gollum .


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Old 02-23-2005, 05:29 PM   #23
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White Tree the Tragic Hobbit

Ruoutorin said:
Quote:
The Hobbit, to me at least, doesn't really fit into that [tragic] scheme.
It's interesting that you mention this.

The Hobbit certainly isn't told in a tragic style, but it definitely could have. The story of Thorin at least is a tragic tale. Driven out of his home by a dragon, years of exile, finally a quest to get it back, ending with a battle where the newly crowned king dies.

Another tragic bit is the death of Thror in the Necromancer's dungeons.

There are elements of it there, it's just masked by the style.

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Old 02-23-2005, 06:05 PM   #24
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:32 AM   #25
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My feelings for the Hobbit are mixed. On the one hand, I have a great deal of affection for it, my first taste of Tolkien when I read it at the age of seven.

But even at seven, I remember wanting something more. Particularly intriguing, I found, was the paragraph about woodelves who 'never went to Faerie in the west, unlike the Deep Elves, the Fair Elves and the Sea Elves'. (Sorry, I'm quoting from memory here). Who were these other elves? What was Faerie?

The storytelling is excellent, the visuals perhaps even more immediate than in LotR. I can close my eyes right now and see poor Bilbo plodding along in the rain on his horse, water dripping off his hood. What I find somewhat lacking in the Hobbit is the grandeur and nobility of the heroic epic. We do get a taste of it with the death of Thorin, (and of course his gallant nephews) and the arrival of Beorn at the Battle of the Five Armies.
It all depends on your literary tastes, I suppose. I know so many people who liked and enjoyed the Hobbit but then couldn't get past the Fellowship in LotR.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:41 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ophelia
I grew up still at the Soviet system which provided a lot of corrections in books . I was 4 when I first became aware of the book . As a child I saw the pictures on the covers which indicated that it indeed is a children's book . I began to read but stoped doing that for whatwas written there was too complicated for a 4 year old so I started to look over the illustrations . After that day I was panically afraid of the book , I even had nightmares . Can you imagine what had they done ? All of the pictures were dim , dark , horrifying , full of monsters . Actually the pictures were mostly only of monsters as the person who drew them had seen them . Needless to saythat I never touched the book again
Having just looked through my copy of The Annotated Hobbit & seen the illustrations from various editions of TH from across the globe, I have to say I was struck by how 'dark' & disturbing some of the ones in the eastern European editions are, in contrast to some of the western European editions, many of which are quite cute & cartoon like. Can't help wondering what the reason for this difference is.
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:42 PM   #27
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Through the eyes of a Child.

Although Tolkien created a lot of The Silmarillion by the time The Hobbit was released, I try to treat it as one might look upon The Lesser Rings, a mere essay in the craft of writing, by the time he forged The One Book, he was a Master Wordsmith. His attempts to put the story (The Hobbit) into context with his later writings ie:- Of the finding of The Ring(LotR) and The Quest of Erebor(UT) I find quite fascinating. When first reading The Hobbit (If you read it first), you cannot fully understand the vastness of what you are reading, in fact Middle-Earth is not mentioned at all. Elements of greater things are touched on ie:- Elronds ancestry, Durin, The Necromancer and Gondolin. The problem is if you read The Hobbit after LotR, you may well find it less than what it is. If you look at some of the names I have mentioned, you will notice how ancient they are in Middle-Earth, my own view is that The Hobbit was Tolkiens first attempt to show us his Sub-Creation. I treat The Hobbit as neither a childrens nor an adult book, the way I see it, is this is how you may try to teach a younger person of greater things, a small glimpse at The Marvelous.
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:57 PM   #28
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The Hobbit was the first book I read of the whole Tolkien collection, and I'd have to agree with Lal and Bëth, there's BIG spiders, and treasure, and a great, big, flying, fire breathing dragon!!!!! Who doesn't like dragons, seriously. Again I'll say, sadly I watched the first twomovies before I read the books. But when I saw them, I had to read them, and I got the three books and The Hobbit, so I obviously read the Hobbit first and I have no complaints about it because it explained a lot for me seeing as I watched the Fellowship and The Two Towers movies. Anyway, I really don't see how anyone could not like the Hobbit, but your all entitled to your own opinions.

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Old 02-24-2005, 09:17 PM   #29
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Just in case someone wanted to see the words right from Tolkien's pen (letter 131)-
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The generally different tone and style of The Hobbit is due, in point of genesis, to it being taken by me as a matter from the great cycle susceptible of treatment as a 'fairy-story', for children.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:46 AM   #30
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I agree with Child of the 7th Age about the reading aloud, but as a listener, not a reader. My father read The Hobbit ot me and my sisters when I was about 9. He put on voices and everything. This created a key childhood memory and awakened a thirst for more of Middle Earth. As a result, I had already read LotR a couple of times by the age of 12.

My pet peeve about The Hobbit is the character of the elves, but it is forgiven because this is where the whole thing starts to come together. It gave birth to possibly the most famous and most loved world ever.
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