Friday, March 25, 2005

Thorin, The Hero?

1.) I want to take some of my personal time to comment on “The Hobbit”. I had previously stated its shortcoming but, unfairly withheld any laudations about the plot. Though the storyline was straightforward, bordering on redundant, it had an unique ability to keep the reader interested. I believe that the book was written for a culture who loves heroes and even though the ending of the story was far from deceptive, it had the attended effect of provoking the readers emotion. Who could scoff at the valiant, fearless charge of the undersized Thorin. The selfless heroics of the men and elves in their deadly battle with the goblins or even the clever and witty Bilbo, never to be outthought. “The Hobbit” is a book that when broken down, appeals to two emotions prided in our culture, bravery and intellectual prowess. “The Hobbit” gains mass acclamation by appealing to virtues treasured in our society.

2.) A hero is one who goes above and beyond his limitation or in this case, character complexion restrictions. Thorin was the hero of “The Hobbit” because in the final scene he was able to transcend his characters limits and help his friends win the battle. Thorin had two limits that restricted his characters appeal and heroism throughout the story, pride and greed. An example of Throrin’s unchecked pride was when he addressed the men in the village saying he was “Thorin son of Thror King under the mountain” (212). Throughout the story Thorin continually referred to his prided ancestry believing that bloodline was the determining factor of a man’s stature. He had a pompous attitude toward his companion dwarves, who he feels superior to because of his glorified ancestry. This pompous attitude towards his own friends was evidenced at Bilbo’s house when the dwarves were cleaning up but “not Thorin, he was too important, and stayed talking to Gandalf” (15). This quotes showed Thorin’s view on his superiority to the other dwarves. Thorin also had an immense disposition to the beautiful things of the world, gold. The whole storyline was based on Thorin’s impulse to retrieve the treasure from the mountain. This particular characteristic continually interfered with his reasonable judgment as evidenced when he was confronted by the men of the village, he said, “But none of our gold shall thieves take or the violent carry off while we are alive” (280). This quote portrayed the negative influence of greed on Thorin’s decision even when presented with the facts that there wasn’t any food and they were outnumbered by a couple hundred men. Another example of Thorin allowing his greed to conqueror sound judgment was when he discovered Bilbo gave his precious gem to the men, he proceeded to rant “As for you I will throw you to the rocks! He cried and lifted Bilbo in his arms.” (297). In this quote he allowed his greed to blind him from his true treasure, the friendship between Bilbo and himself. Thorin had many faults seen throughout the novel, however when the final battle took on a desperate appearance, one dwarf stepped up to the challenge by selfless heroic action. Thorin’s heroics were most clearly represented during the final battle when “and from the Gate came a trumpet call. They had forgotten Thorin! Part of the wall, moved by levers fell outward with a crash into the pool. Out leapt the King under the Mountain.” (306). In the most crucial battle, Thorin transcended his greed and pride and fought with selfless bravery.


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