The Hobbit Essay

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In the following excerpt, Matthews discusses The Hobbit from a psychoanalytic perspective.

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit has received very little serious critical attention other than as the precursor of The Lord of the Rings. It has usually been praised as a good introduction to the trilogy, and as a children's book, but anyone familiar with psychoanalysis cannot avoid being tantalized by recurrent themes and motifs in the three stories. Bilbo's story has surprising depths that can be plumbed by the reader who is receptive to psychoanalytic interpretations.

The central pattern of The Hobbit is, quite obviously, a quest. Like so many heroes before him, Bilbo sets out on a perilous journey, encounters and overcomes many obstacles (including a confrontation with a dragon) and returns victorious after he has restored a kingdom and righted ancient wrongs. However, this pattern is so commonplace in literature that it is...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 1,283 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Hobbit Study Guide
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The Hobbit from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.