FC: The Hobbit and The Monomyth by: Gabrielle Hudson
1: The Hero's Journey
3: The Call to Adventure "At this stage in the Monomyth, the hero is still in his home world. He hasn’t yet begun to adventure. However, the idea of what he might do has occurred to him, whether it seems pleasing or not. " In The Hobbit, the Call to Adventure is seen when one day, Gandalf appears " 'I’ll give you what you asked for.”, said Gandalf. “I beg your pardon, I have not asked for anything?” said Bilbo. “Yes you have! Twice now. My pardon. I give it you. In fact I will go so far as to send you on this adventure.” said Gandalf. (Tolkien 19). Several dwarves show up on Bilbo Baggins’ front doorstep completely unannounced. They speak of a long journey fraught with peril, dragons gold and many missed meals. Bilbo is volunteered by Gandalf to be the company thief, "...And here is our little Bilbo Baggins, the burglar, the chosen and selected burglar. So now let's get on and make some plans" (Tolkein, 21)
5: Refusal of the Call "Often when the call is given, the hero first refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances." (Joseph Campbell) “Sorry I don’t want any adventures. Thank you! Not today. Good morning! But please come to tea anytime you like. Why not tomorrow? Come tomorrow! Good bye!” (Tolkien 19). Bilbo makes it very clear in this hurried and upset quote that he is definitely not the sort of hobbit who goes and has these adventures. He offhandedly makes an appointment with the wizard for tea and promptly forgets it, the adventure, and his fluster through the course of his day. He disregards it because he is perfectly comfortable in his cozy hobbit hole and warn slippers, thank you
7: Supernatural Aid "Once the hero has committed to the quest, his or her guide and magical helper appears. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or objects that will aid them later in their quest." (Joseph Campbell) Gandalf is the guide that keeps Bilbo and the dwarves (mostly) safe through their first adventures with the trolls and the goblins. But, at a certain point, the dwarves have to learn to trust Bilbo on his own merit. And this will never happen unless they're in true danger and need Bilbo's help to get them out of it. So, Gandalf is actually too powerful a character to accompany the group on their whole quest – he would keep them too safe to learn anything from one another. So, conveniently, Gandalf is called away on "some pressing business away south" (Tolkien,125). With the dwarves' experiences in Mirkwood and outside the Lonely Mountain in Gandalf's absence, they start to realize that, "Now [Bilbo] had become the real leader in their adventure" (Tolkien,192).
9: Crossing The Threshold "This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known." (Joseph Campbell) For Baggins this part of his journey is seemingly painless and hurried. He nearly misses his appointment with the dwarves at the inn they were staying. He storms out of his home fearing he'll miss them and leaves some important items in his hurry. "...You will have to manage without pocket-handkerchiefs, and a good many other things, before you get to the journey's end." (Tolkien,29) "That's how they came to start, jogging off from the inn one fine morning just before May, on laden ponies..." (Tolkien, 29) The journey is begun in bright spirits as they pass through Hobbit lands, are joined by Gandalf, who is better prepared, and travel onwards.
11: Road of Trials "The road of trials is a series of tests, or tasks that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes." (Joseph Campbell) Bilbo and his company face many hardships on their journey but they can be broken into three main events The first encounter is deep within the Mirkwood forest, they all have to cross the enchanted river that flows through the forest. If they touch the water then they will become very sleepy and not be able to continue on the journey. The second is when they stray off the path, disobeying what everyone has told them about the cursed forest for possible food and Bilbo has to fight off larger than life spiders to save the dwarves. The major encounter is their capture by the elves. Bilbo however did not get caught. Using a ring he had stolen from a less than reputable mountain dweller, Bilbo hatches an ingenious plan to rescue the dwarves. " Gandalf spoke true as usual! A pretty fine burglar you make,it seems, when the time comes. I am sure we are all forever at your service whatever happens after this." (Tolkien 174) Bilbo had but them all in barrels and pushed them down the river so that they would end up in Lake-town where they could continue with their journey
13: Meeting with the God(Goddess) Beorn is definitely no female, but he is the god that Bilbo and his company meet upon their journey. He is a skin changer that invites the company into his home to rest and eat until they are content. They all meet him and tell him their story. Beorn knows the land very well, he tells them a path to ensure their safe passage through the dark forest,the Mirkwood Forest. "Mirkwood is dark, dangerous and, difficult. Water is not easy to find there, nor food. The time is not yet come for nuts, and nuts are about all that grows there fit for food. In there are wild things that are dark, queer, and savage." (Tolkien 133)
15: Apotheosis When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves beyond the pairs of opposites to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. A more mundane way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return. (Joseph Campbell) After the treasure is split, Thorin is laid to rest and the company has said their "farewell"s and "so-long"s, Bilbo is ready to go home but is sad to be leaving the adventure he has completed. The "Tookishness" has been awoken in him and he is forever a changed hobbit. They stop and rest for a couple nights before the long journey home. "There is a long road yet," said Gandalf. "But it is the last road," said Bilbo. (Tolkien 282) On the way home, every time they passed a place that something on their adventure had taken place Bilbo would stop and reminisce
17: Master of two Worlds It may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds. (Joseph Campbell) "My dear Bilbo, something is the matter with you! You are not the hobbit that you were!" (Tolkien 284). Bilbo realizes that he is not just another simple, quiet and no nonsense hobbit. He is confident and knows he is capable of making big decisions and making a difference. He is forever changed and it is reflected with the nasty rumors that fly about Hobbitton. He comes back from his journey laden with dragon's treasure and new friends. He promptly evacuates the Sackville Bagginses from his Hobbit hole.
19: Citations for images in alphabetical order http://www.douglas.eckhart.btinternet.co.uk/maps.html http://fan.theonering.net/middleearthtours/lee4.html http://fan.theonering.net/middleearthtours/lee4.html http://www.illustrationartgallery.com/acatalog/info_McCaigTheHobbit.html http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=576 http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/argylems/portfolio/web_design/weba_b/pd3_critic/Alvin%20Li%20Book%20Report/fav_part.html http://moooviez.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/ http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/reviews/dutch-de_hobbit.htm