Criticism Theory

New PDF release: A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R.

By Matthew Dickerson

ISBN-10: 1587433001

ISBN-13: 9781587433009

A professional at the Hobbit and The Lord of the earrings trilogy exhibits how a Christian worldview and subject matters undergird Tolkien's vintage works

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Extra info for A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth

Sample text

More likely, Gandalf was simply responding to Bilbo’s own threat; the hobbit had, after all, let his hand stray to his sword. Gandalf was also, I think, both angry and afraid. Not afraid for himself but afraid for his friend Bilbo. He cared deeply about the hobbit—which is why we cannot imagine the wizard torturing Bilbo in any way. What if he treated Gollum in much the same way he treated Bilbo? Gollum, being much more given over to evil, might well perceive that behavior in a darker light, more akin to torture.

Gandalf was also, I think, both angry and afraid. Not afraid for himself but afraid for his friend Bilbo. He cared deeply about the hobbit—which is why we cannot imagine the wizard torturing Bilbo in any way. What if he treated Gollum in much the same way he treated Bilbo? Gollum, being much more given over to evil, might well perceive that behavior in a darker light, more akin to torture. This view is, as I said, an appealing possibility for the reader who believes that torture is wrong and yet wants to admire Gandalf.

An even more vivid scene takes place when Gandalf tries to convince Bilbo to give up the Ring after his “long-expected party,” and the hobbit resists. “It will be my turn to get angry soon,” the wizard tells the hobbit. “If you say that again, I shall. ” The narrator goes on to describe the scene: “[Gandalf] took a step towards the hobbit, and he seemed to grow tall and menacing; his shadow filled the little room” (I/i). This must have appeared very threatening to Bilbo. Was Gandalf, like the orcs we discussed earlier, implying that he would harm the hobbit if the hobbit did not comply with his command?

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A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth by Matthew Dickerson


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