‘The Hobbit’ is a beautiful story written by J. R. R Tolkien, and is full of happy, emotional quotes and lovely characters. Tolkien gives detailed descriptions of his characters using humour and often captures his young readers’ attention with short poems. For example, he begins his story with the sentence ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit…’ and continues it, which then becomes a legend! Tolkien has spun a fascinating tale with adventure involving dragons, magicians, hobbits, dwarves and skin-changers etc.
The protagonist, Bilbo Baggins with his heroism, self-esteem, courage and quirks like stealing skills, is an adorable character. Although he is a figment of the author’s imagination, his kindness and poignant insights infuse him with qualities akin to the best of humans. The author had started this story as a way of entertaining his own grandchild, and true to this, the book adheres to a conversational style of story-telling. For example, he writes ‘The mother of our particular hobbit- what is a hobbit? and starts describing the hobbit before describing Belladonna Took, the hobbit’s mother.
The poetic quotes throughout the course of the story also reveal the writer’s style, which tells it apart from other legends, for example – ‘Far over the misty mountains cold To dungeons deep and caverns old We must away, ere break of day, To find our long-forgotten gold’ The author’s use of foreshadowing makes the plot very interesting and keep the reader’s interest alive. For example, Thorin’s key and map are revealed to be an important part of the story towards the end.
Readers love these unexpected turn of events and surprises in the story! Another example of foreshadowing is when Bilbo gets the power and courage to overcome hurdles and fear in the battle of the five armies, which he could only access after he got the ring. The author has used a novel way of capturing his young readers’ attention by introducing a chapter full of riddles between Gollum, the goblin and Bilbo, in the Misty Mountains. Using riddles, Tolkien has not only successfully heightened the interest of his readers, but also given glimpses of all aspects of the story!
The interesting twists in the story and Bilbo’s good luck at narrowly escaping death or loss at crucial times in the story also have a gripping effect on the readers. Children love to see the arrival of Gandalf, the magician, when Bilbo is in need, as they also delight in his escape from the clutches of the goblins and the elves in barrels after he steals the ring, and his courage and skill in getting out of the giant spider’s trap. I also like the Greek term exemplified in Gandalf’s rescue in the Misty Mountains, which is ‘deux ex machina’, which means a God given man for help.
Again, due to sheer luck, Bilbo is able to get away from the dragon’s lair. But a sad part of the story is the destruction of Laketown by Smaug, the dragon. The readers are relieved when Bard slays Smaug. Bilbo and his group get a further taste of adversity when the goblins and wargs, who have also heard about Smaug’s death, come looking for their share and cause the battle of the five armies. Thorin becomes a martyr for their group, while Bilbo is struck with a rock and loses consciousness.
The author reveals Bilbo’s wise and compassionate side when Bilbo gives the Arkenstone to Bard in an attempt to stop conflict between Bard and Thorin before the battle. I liked the last part when Bilbo returns back with Gandalf and Beorn, who help their group win the battle of the five armies as well as many skirmishes in Mirkwood before that. The enjoyable part here is that Bilbo gets amused by seeing an auction going on at his place! I love the story and also its moral that we should not let our fears get in the way of what we want to do or be in life. The cheerful quotes and poems provide a lot of fun to the readers as well!
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