So I recently met up with an advisor at school and he told me I should write about what I read, or read about what I write… One of the two, whichever makes more sense. Anyway, he also asked me what it was I liked so much about the books I read, and it stumped me. The best possibly answer I could think of was escape. Escape from reality, open your eyes, look up to the skies and see… Sorry got a little Queen there. Basically it’s the escape from reality and a headfirst jump into someone else’s world for a short time, living vicariously through their life, experiencing an adventure you wouldn’t normally have on your own. I can see that as being the main reason most people read fictional stories, but I hope to find more answers for myself as I continue reading.
This new direction I want to take is solely for this blog. I started this blog with no real purpose in mind, except to improve my writing and maybe get feedback from my readers. Since I have such a difficult time with devoting time and energy (and real thought) into this, I thought a genuine purpose would help motivate me, and that purpose is to write about what I read. This could also help to keep me on track with my readings; I have a list of 30+ books to read and I’ve just worked through six of them in the last year. If things work out and I read a chapter every day, then I will possibly have finished a book by the end of the month and will have a new blog post to share. Enough of my explanations, though, I think it’s time I started what I came here to do.
My latest read was The Hobbit by the ever famous J.R.R. Tolkien. I read it mostly because the movies were starting to be released and I had forgotten much of the details from the first time. I am very glad I re-read it because I barely remembered a thing. The basics were still there, but it was mostly the ending and the bits with the dragon and such. I don’t want to give anything away for those that have not read the book, but I was certainly surprised at how a few things came about. It all worked out in the end, but not quite how I was expecting.
I began to wonder how critics could interpret this book; I feel most would take the religious approach for Tolkien’s Christian beliefs, but I am curious to know if anyone has used a feminist or psychological criticism to this book. You may notice there are virtually no women mentioned whatsoever, but at the same time there is also no distinction between sexes. It’s all race; man, dwarf, elf, wizard, hobbit. There is rank, where the eldest and wisest hold the highest authority of their respective races. Even in the lowliest races like the goblins, they had their goblin king. The eagles had their eagle lord. I doubt the existence of a hobbit “lord” or “ruler” of any sort, they all pretty much just sit around and mind their business, and I think a lord of wizards would be all too powerful and uncontrollable so that is probably avoided at all costs, but what do I know? There was racism, but most of it was due to greed and jealousy, considering there was a whole dragon horde of treasure at stake and everyone wanted to get their hands on it. No one needed a reason to hate the goblins; they’re just terrible creatures in general.
I’m still not very strong in criticism and analysis, but if I were to truly get something out of this, I would have to read it cover to cover a thousand times to find it. If anyone has anything interesting to say about The Hobbit, their likes and dislikes, analysis, interpretation, etc., I would be more than happy to hear about it. =]