Book Review Part 2 (SPOILERS):
I will now share my own thoughts on a few elements not discussed in the first half of this review. In the novel, I noticed that the individuals in certain races are, on the most part, very typical of their races. I found that The elves, dwarves, humans, hobbits, and goblins are portrayed very differently in the novel. This sounds like a stereotype, however, in the hobbit, all of the goblins are evil, up-to-no-good characters. Only one of them seems to have any importance, and that is the Great Goblin, whom is very quickly brought out of the story. The humans can be good, like Bard, can be evil, like the Master, but are usually in-between. Dwarves are portrayed as treasure-lovers, and that can be good or can be bad. If dwarves care about their gold too much, it can be unhealthy and have dire consequences (like war). Elves are all good – in the book. They sing songs and are very merry, but remain fierce fighters. They all love nature, too. Hobbits are, like humans, in-between, but on a different scale. Hobbits are “respectable” if they don’t go on adventures or quests, and Bilbo had parents from two very different families. I can back it up with evidence, too. For elves,
““Well, Well!” said a voice, “Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn’t it delicious!”” (pg. 57) For dwarves,
““But nothing we will give, not even a loaf’s worth, under the threat of force. While an armed host lies before our doors, we look on you as foes and thieves.”” (Need page) For humans and hobbits they can be either good or bad. For good humans, in chapter 15, which I will let you read, Bard, although grim as he is, is a very important hero in The Hobbit. For bad humans, I use an example to explain. The Master’s greed for gold made him run to the wastes, where he later perished. And for good hobbits, I noticed Bilbo is a “not respectable hobbit” but is the main character and is, nonetheless, a good hobbit. He is also respectable when the story starts. Bad hobbits, like Bilbo’s relations do things like try to take over his hobbit-hole and get his stuff while he is gone. Finally, I will provide a quote to support my observations of goblins,
“The goblins were very rough, and pinched unmercifully, and chuckled and laughed in their horrible stony voices; and Bilbo was more unhappy even than when the troll had picked him up by his toes.”
While reading, I noticed the importance of lineage. For example, Bilbo frequently referred to his Took “side” and Bagging “side.” The Tookish and Baggins’ are very different. In the book, Bilbo’s “Took side” is calling him onwards on his quest whilst his “Baggins side” often makes him think warmly of his Hobbit-Hole in the Shire. That shows the importance of lineage in the book. For example, Bard accomplishes (a) great deed(s) and he is a direct descendant of the ruling family of Dale (a rather important town in The Hobbit). Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror, is the title of the dwarf Thorin. That shows the importance of lineage that Tolkien included. I picked tis quote out of the book to support my thoughts. “The Tookish part was getting very tired, and the Baggins was getting daily stronger. “I wish now only to be in my own arm-chair!” he said.”
I decided to do a bit of research as to why Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and what inspired him. I found that Tolkien stated that Bilbo is meant to be the average person living in a rural area from the 1930’s. He also said that Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon epics, like Beowulf, inspired him. Tolkien was a scholar of ancient languages and I can use that to guess he was inspired by an ancient language to make runes a large part of The Hobbit. Two such examples are Elvish runes and Moon-Runes.
The last thing I will share my thoughts on is the symbolism of items. I noticed swords and their names have large symbolism in The Hobbit, and there are some examples, “Orcrist” and “Glamdring,” to the goblins “Biter” and “Beater.” The black arrow that Bard uses for a great deed is like Orcrist or Glamdring, but for Bard, and Bard alone. He briefly thinks/talks to himself about its importance to his family, but no more is said of it.