ENG 3U 2013: Hobbits Hungry for Options

Hungry Hobbit, 312 Wake Green Road, Moseley by Ell Brown, via Flickr

Hungry Hobbit, 312 Wake Green Road, Moseley by Ell Brown, via Flickr

  1. Write a diary entry from the perspective of Thorin Oakenshield (or any other Dwarf) explaining your initial thoughts about Bilbo.
  2. Explain how the journey pattern applies to key components of the novel. In particular, consider examining Bilbo’s figurative death (the cave) and his dark shadow (Gollum).
  3. Choose a moment of growth for Bilbo (such as his experience with the Trolls, or his interaction with Gollum). Writing from Bilbo’s perspective, explain what he (or really, you) learn  from this moment of growth.
  4. Some experts have argued that Tolkien’s experiences in World War I shaped the novel (especially the War of the Five Armies). Explore this connection, and explain your findings.
  5. Some  have argued that the world’s Jewish population served as the inspiration for the Dwarves’ banishment and isolation. Find out what you can about the Jewish Diaspora, and explain it.
  6. Some have argued that the Hobbit relies heavily on the narrative of Beowulf. Read a summary of Beowulf, and explain any connections you find.
  7. The Hobbit is presented by an omniscient narrator. Choose one of  the moments from the novel, and rewrite it from the perspective of one the characters. Remember to limit the narrative to only those things that the character can witness.
  8. How does greed–whether Smaug’s, Thorin’s, or anyone else’s–impact the narrative? Choose specific examples and explain.
  9. The Hobbit relies heavily on animism, or the act of giving non-human things human-like qualities (essentially, animating them). Tolkien does this with birds, animals, vegetation, and even non-living things (mountains)  Choose a few examples from the same section of the novel, and explain the impact they have on the reader.
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