Monday, March 14, 2005

What Can Women Get From "The Hobbit"

1.) This was the first time I read “The Hobbit” and to be frank it wasn’t very good. The adventures employed by the plot were concise and redundant. This was a most unfortunate combination because the brevity resulted in many of these repetitive sub par adventures. “The Hobbit” became more intriguing to me however because of my previous knowledge of the Lord of the Ring movies. I found it interesting to connect actions in “The Hobbit” to their consequences in the Lord of the Ring series. “The Hobbit” was a fine book meant to be read by those who have yet been cultured by the far superior Harry Potter series.

2.) Women reading “The Hobbit” could take two polar opposite ideas from the story. One conclusion, which women who have thoroughly examined the plot of the story can come to, is that men should not be in charge. “The Hobbit” focused on the adventures of men, especially the dwarfs and Bilbo, and their many dim-witted decisions. The story revolves around the quest of the Dwarves and Bilbo to find gold. A woman reading this book could conclude that men in a position to lead are blinded by greed. Another blunder by men in this story is evidenced when the dwarves and Bilbo allow their stomachs to lead them off the correct path. This was seen when the adventurers were walking through the forest, following the instructions of Gandalf to remain on the path. After a while however, they became hungry and stray from the path and into the forest which ultimately leads to their imprisonment. Women who read “The Hobbit”, especially those leaning towards feminist ideas, will be inclined to believe that men should not be given a free leash with leadership.

The second idea women can take away from this novel is the plight of women at the time of the publication. Throughout the entire novel, only once is a female mentioned and that is only in passing. “The Hobbit” can be seen as an accurate representation of the social structure in the 1930’s. In this era, women were expected to be a stay at home mother and were excluded from daily activities. This is congruent to the novel because the female gender were also excluded from the main plot and took a backseat to the all male adventure. Women can more readily comprehend this social message by comparing “The Hobbit” to other fantasy books in a more recent and feminist society. For example, in the Harry Potter series, Hermione is directly involved in most of the adventures in the plot while “The Hobbit” fails to include any female supporting character to the story. Women who read “The Hobbit” can either further support the idea of the women’s supremacy to their gender opposite, the incompetent male, or that the novel was written as a social map of the 1930’s.


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