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Old 12-18-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
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The Hobbit - a philosophical review

An interesting new angle on the movie. .
The Hobbit has long appealed to psychologists for its obvious correspondences to the process of maturation. As the book opens, Bilbo is effectively a fifty-year-old child nestled in his comfy hobbit hole. By the end of the tale Bilbo has achieved Jungian individuation or Maslowian self-actualization by stepping out of his comfort zone, resolving his inner conflicts, and growing in courage, self-confidence, and self-understanding by confronting challenges and dangers.
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
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...the film triumphantly succeeds. It is visually and technologically stunning, the action scenes are terrific, Andy Serkis' Gollum is brilliant beyond words, and (unlike The Lord of the Rings films) the many changes Jackson makes to Tolkien's original storyline are nearly always effective.

This is the magic of tolkien, he helps us grow up with out us hardly realizing we are being shown the way to walk off into the white spaces of our own maps.

And despite being a fairly rabid critic of PJ's TT and RotK, this works splendidly.
good catch davem
The dwindling Men of the West would often sit up late into the night exchanging lore & wisdom such as they still possessed that they should not fall back into the mean estate of those who never knew or indeed rebelled against the Light.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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A little trouble with fundamental categories

Beginning an article on philosophy by confusing it with psychology sort of explains the uncritical mentality which can't differentiate a fan-fiction turkey like The Hobbit: Goblins and Dwarves from Peter Jackson's far better adaptation of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. What next: Sigmund Freud as Plato Baggins?

I've posted this reminder before, but it bears constant reiteration in the context of standard heroic quest literature:

[No matter what tale we hear told, in no matter what language or culture] “... it will be always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find, together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be known or told.

“The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of the formula represented in the rites of passage: separationinitiationreturn: which might be named the nuclear unit of the monomyth.

" A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” – Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Difficult to believe that Peter Jackson could take such a basic, timeless plot outline and turn it into a confused and tedious hash of tired Hollywood clichés. Perhaps a psychoanalyst could explain the particular pathologies at work here -- ego, greed, and self-indulgence -- but I doubt that a philosopher would find much of profound, general interest.
"If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." -- Tweedledee
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