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Rereading The Hobbit

Posted on 2013.01.01 at 23:42
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I finished my second reading of The Hobbit this evening.  In the eighth grade I last read it and decided I rather disliked Bilbo but fell in love with Lord of the Rings.  After reading it as an adult, and having read LotR so many times, I see not only the significance to both the War of the Ring but Middle Earth in general.  I also see that what I disliked most was not the story or characters, but the writing.  In The Hobbit it was much scaled back, and understandably so as it was written for a younger audience.  I did not know or understand that, and thus was annoyed by it, but as an adult I can see the value of it and get lost in the storyline and beauty of the world Tolkien created. 

As bad as this may sound, I do think reading all the Harry Potter's, and scoffing at what I felt was ripped off of Tolkien, helped me value The Hobbit more.  Don't get me wrong, I thought Harry Potter was fine and entertaining, just not breath-taking and original the way the world of Tolkien is for me.  But the literature itself was much geared towards a younger audience, or at least one with less of an advanced vocabulary.  That isn't a bad thing mind you, just a difference in audience.  But having already viewed the world of Tolkien from the more advanced text, I was able to fill in the parts of The Hobbit.  I daresay one could argue I had less of an imagination the first time reading The Hobbit and wanted the world painted out for me and perhaps it is not entirely untrue.  However, what made LotR so poignant was not the lengthy detailed descriptions, but the truth behind the characters, their acts, their thoughts, and their words; it was the transcendental nature of it all.

While I was not balling my eyes out at the end, which I shall not put here in case someone stumbles upon this who has not--but should--read either work, I did tear up at the end of The Hobbit.  Perhaps knowing the history and studying Tolkien's works on Middle Earth make everything more meaningful, or perhaps it is just as it should be.  I remember crying the first time as well, and honestly the only reason I shed less tears between the two works is that in LotR there was simply so much more to shed tears for...and the detail into the lives, the world, the strife and suffering, it was all so much more real.  The Hobbit, while I do love it, is the sweeter more childlike of the two...with an ending fit for the world of fantasy children's books, even if the journey was perhaps tread a bit closer to young adult. 

My heart shall always remain with Frodo especially, but with Aragorn and Sam and all those of that age in LotR.  I am so very glad I reread it...and now directly onto the Lord of the Rings!  (With some wine or Earl Grey tea of course...)

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