Book review: The Hobbit Part 1
For this first part of the review, I will be sharing and contemplating a peers thoughts. I would like to start by comparing our views on theme. Julia said (in her review), “[T]hemes such as self-discovery and evolving loyalties can be uncovered.” She provided evidence in the form of a quote and an explanation. They are: “This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure.” As well as: Just like his descendants, Bilbo Baggins preferred a quiet, average life, but along his journey, we can see his personal evolution into a proactive and adventurous hobbit. I totally agree. In the beginning, Bilbo even shows a bit of hostility towards his soon to be travelling companions. Self-Discovery occurs most prominently, in my opinion, in Mirkwood, a wild forest of the north. I have two more quotes to support this. In the beginning, he says when he is alone, “Confusticate and bebother these dwarves!” (pg. 22) Here is the other one, from later in the book.
““Go on! Go on! I will do the stinging!” And he did. He darted backwards and forwards, slashing at spider-threads, hacking at their legs, and stabbing at their fat bodies if they came too near.” (pgs. 159-160). Next I would like to share my view on setting. Some might think it is the same as theme, but is most certainly is not. In her review, Julia said, “One of my favourite things in fictional books is having settings and details strong enough to truly take your mind to a different place. I found this more than present throughout this tale, and that is what truly tied me in.” However she did not provide any evidence. I must say before I do that I agree wholeheartedly. I had no difficulty envisioning anything written on any of the 285 pages. It was beautifully descriptive. Now listen to this quote and see if you can tell me you had trouble envisioning it. “The next morning was a midsummer’s morning as fair and fresh as could be dreamed: blue sky and never a cloud, and the sun dancing on the water.” (Need to find pgs.) That ties nicely to the next thing, the literary style that Tolkien uses. Julia stated, “Though some may find it too archaic, I really appreciated the strong literary style that Tolkien used. For the most part, it was easy to follow, and yet contained sentence and paragraph structures that most of us wouldn’t normally consider using.” The evidence I found was, “This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure.” I confidently can say that no-one I know would have started a book like that. I agree with this, yet again. I LOVED the literary style in The Hobbit, it made me want to learn how things used to be written and write a story of an adventure like this one. I don’t know a book other than this that had things in brackets explain things, and those sometimes made me smile, laugh, or both. Here is some evidence in the book that I found.
““I believe he is trying to tell us something,” said Balin; ”but I cannot follow
the speech of such birds, it is very quick and difficult. Can you make it out, Baggins?”
“Not very well,” said Bilbo (as a matter of fact, he could make nothing of it at all); but the old fellow seems very excited.”” (pg. 242)
That was an example of the brackets used in the book, and a rather funny one in my opinion. There is one other thing that I could easily find in Julia’s review. That was the connections in the novel. She said, “Overall there was an intriguing sense of connection between various parts to form the book as a whole, my favourite connection being through Bilbo’s frequent wishes to be back at home.” Her only evidence to support this was, “Bilbo’s frequent wishes to be back home.” I do agree that there was a sense of connection in the novel. There would often be (*cough* *cough*) bracketed connections back to other bits to explain the answer to a question that you might have or might’ve had. My evidence is, once more, a quote from the book,
““I have absolutely no use for dragon-guarded treasures, and the whole lot could stay here for ever, if only I could wake up and find this beastly tunnel was my own front-hall at home!”” (pg. 205)
That was just one of many times he wished to be back home, be it because he was approaching a dragon, starving, or lost.