Literary criticism of the literary elements in "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Essay by jokerh2ox10Junior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2003

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In classical children's novel, the main characters are usually unimposing individuals who are easily overlooked, but manage to have great and successful journeys. Such is the case in Bilbo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Mr. Baggins is a simple hobbit that is swept away into a dangerous but exciting journey. In the trip, he becomes a heroic symbol of the common man or child making a name for himself. In the children's classic, The Hobbit, Tolkien uses an unusual point of view, fantasy world setting, archetypal characters and symbols, and vivid characterization to show to children and adults that a seemingly petty individual can fulfill his potential to become a leader.

In the novel, Tolkien clearly speaks to two separate audiences. His first and most obvious is of course the younger crowd. To help the kids through the book he demonstrates an obtrusive narrator. It is a friendly and sociable point of view that is uncommon in the traditional classic novel.

Also, the fairy tale land setting and archetypal characters keep the children interested. The other group the novel associates with is older men. Its characterization helps them relate to the fifty year old hobbit. The moral is also at two different levels. For adults, it would be the destruction of greed as well as the complications of rights. Tolkien gives this message through Thorin who is on his death bed," If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell" (273)! At a child's level, it would simply be you shouldn't fight over who owns what (Kocher 48). The Hobbit definitely contains messages to two very different audiences.

To both perspectives, however, Bilbo is not a traditional hero. He...