Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Hobbit 30 Day Challenge - Day 14

What Has The Hobbit Taught You?

This is a difficult question for me to answer.  My first thought was to say it hasn't really taught me anything I didn't already know.  I'm at the time of life when I've had much happen, much of it lately sad, and I've lived to some extent the lessons The Hobbit possibly hopes to teach.

The Hobbit has brought back some memories of times past for me. I identify very closely with the dwarves and their story. For me many moments in the story have connections to my own story and my family's story. Of course, theirs is a fantasy world of dragons and orcs, and I don't mean that part of the story, but the underlying story of exile and the struggle to, as a commercial said recently "not just survive, but thrive",* and the yearning to return to a homeland that is now a distant memory, is very real, for many people. 

It would have been different had I read the novel as a child, when many people have. Then possibly I could have answered this question differently, looking back on my feelings as a child and the lessons I might have learned then. I hope children reading the book after seeing the films will talk to their parents and their teachers about it. 

I have learned more about Tolkien. Not only from reading the novel and how that connects to his view of the world in 1937, but from listening and reading all the interviews from the cast and the writers, and especially interviews with my favorite Tolkien Geek. Through them I've become interested in reading beyond The Hobbit. Not quite the Silmarillion yet though. 

*Doesn't mean my endorsement of the company in the commercial or of drinking. 


  1. I have to say that I feel like a lot of what this book "teaches" I have reservations about, the whole die for King and Country thing, for instance. I try not to think about its broader implications and focus on Richard Armitage's implications :)

    1. It's something you're asked when you test/interview to become a citizen, or at least when I did, about taking up arms for your new country and renouncing your old. I thought of that when thinking about your comment. I wasn't thinking about lessons at all when reading the book, to be honest. Maybe I should read up more about the book, then read the actual book. As most of my answers to the "30 Days" have a reference or two to Richard, I suppose he's more my focus as well.

    2. to me, the biggest lessons are usually the ones that come implicity rather than explicitly, and often they come at me unexpectedly. I tend not to like the obvious level of any work of art -- and TH, as a work for children, has a pretty visible obvious priority schedule. But that's okay -- the best art for me is something that makes you think about its themes from many different directions and Armitage's work adds that component for me.


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