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Matthew Gluf's Monomyth Project

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FC: Hero Cycle Analysis of J.R.R. Tolkien by Matthew Gluf | The Hobbit

2: The Call | Bilbo’s call occurred when Gandalf visited him one fine morning. It seemed like a friendly hello until Gandalf said “’I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging and it is very difficult to find anyone.’” (Tolkien 13) Being a Hobbit, Bilbo is immediately discomforted by this offer.

4: Refusal Of Call | It is no surprise that Bilbo almost immediately refuses the call. A page later he turns down Gandalf with “’We don’t want any adventures here thank you!’” (Tolkien 14). It was pretty obvious that Bilbo was uncomfortable with the possibility of leaving his house let alone going on a perilous adventure.

6: Crossing The Threshold | Bilbo crossed the threshold when he and the troop encountered the trolls. Bilbo had been chosen to scout the troll bonfire and after “hesitate[ing] in the shadows” Bilbo decides “picking the trolls pockets seem[s] the least difficult” so he “creep[s] up behind William”(Tolkien 38). This is the first time Bilbo attempts to live up to being a burglar and also is really the first time he considers himself a part of the group.

8: Supernatural Aid | Bilbo’s supernatural aid is Gandalf. He organizes the entire dwarf party and essentially makes the entire adventure happen. Gandalf didn’t give Bilbo a physical item or charm, but gives him a title. “’If I say he [Bilbo] is a burglar, a burglar he is, or will be when the time comes.’” (Tolkien 25) He gives the dwarves the impression that Bilbo is an experienced thief. This gift gives Bilbo motivation in countless situations and helps define him later on in the book.

10: Road Of Trials | Bilbo faces many trials in his adventure. The first and most important is the Goblin cave in the Misty Mountains. Bilbo ends up alone in the dark mere minutes after entering the cave. He is left only to his own wits, and, against all odds, Bilbo manages to make it out. He also encounters Golem, who is a minor trial, but “gives” him the invisibility ring.

12: The Goddess | Bilbo encounters the Goddess in Rivendale with the elves. While Elrond, the elf he talks to, is not female, elves in general are very feminine beings. Elrond tells Bilbo that the map’s runes say “’Stand by the grey stone and when the thrush knocks, and the setting with the last light of Durin’s Day will shine upon the key-hole’” (Tolkien 52). This piece of knowledge is crucial near the end of the journey.

14: Apotheosis | Bilbo’s apotheosis was easily when his friends were kidnapped by the spiders in Mirkwood. He single handedly “darted backwards and forwards, slashing at spider-threads, hacking at their legs, and stabbing at their fat bodies if they came too near.” (Tolkien 142). The Bilbo sitting at home in the shire a couple months before this would have died in that situation.

16: Refusal Of Return | When news of the Smaug’s death gets to the troupe, the dwarves immediately decide to go back into the mountain. In that moment Bilbo “felt that the adventure was over” and would have given his share of the treasure for “the winding up of these affairs.” (Tolkien 219). Pushing aside the desire to go home, Bilbo follows the dwarves back into the mountain.

18: Master of Two Worlds | The best example showing Bilbo a master of two worlds is at the very end of the book. Tolkien says that Bilbo was “held to be ‘queer’” by the hobbits of the neighborhood, but “he did not mind. He was quite content.” (254) He lives in the shire not caring about things that would have bothered him much more before his adventure. Bilbo lives in a balance between the memories of his adventure and his home, the shire.

20: Citations | Photo on page 3.2011. http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20504849,00.html#20980350.photo. 14 Nov. 2011. Gandalf wearing sunglasses.2011. http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2011/05/12/hobbit-ian-mckellen- gandalf-rise-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-caesar-andy-serkis/.Photo.14 Nov.2011. Elrond.2011. http://carlochong.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/elrond-and-galadriel-returning- for-the-hobbit/. 14 Nov.2011 Renkhoff, Inga. The Hobbit – The 3 trolls.www.deviantart.com.Mixed media. 14 Nov. 2011. Lee, Alan. Mirkwood Spiders. http://fan.theonering.net/middleearthtours/lee4.html.watercolor. 14 Nov.2011. Lee, Alan. Bilbo at the Gate. http://fan.theonering.net/middleearthtours/lee4.html.watercolor. 14 Nov.2011. Lee, Alan. Smaug falls on Laketown. http://fan.theonering.net/middleearthtours/lee4.html.watercolor. 14 Nov.2011. Freeman, Martin. Bilbo Meme. http://periannath.com/humor/bilbo-baggins-image-macros/.photo manipulation. 14 Nov.2011. Old Bilbo. http://www.tolkien-online.com/bilbo-baggins.html.photo.14 Nov.2011.

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  • By: Matt G.
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  • Title: Matthew Gluf's Monomyth Project
  • Detailing the stages in the monomyth hero cycle for J.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit"
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  • Published: almost 5 years ago

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