The Hobbit Double Entry Journal Prompts
Nicholas Gangone Ms. Sottas Double Entry Journal Prompts March 20, 2013 “But men remembered little of all that, though some still sang old songs of the dwarf-kings of the Mountain, Thror and Dragon, and the fall of the lords of Dale. ” (Tolkien 176) “I hope I never smell the smell of apples again. ” (Tolkien 179) “But the Master was not sorry at all to let them go. They were expensive to keep, and their arrival had turned things into a long holiday in which business was a standstill. ” (Tolkien 185)
Although the men keep alive old traditions in a new era, this quote symbolizes how the majority of things have changed in this world. This excerpt situates the dwarves in the present time frame where power has shifted to evil forces, how the dwarves lost control of their mountain city, and also how old legendary maps don’t so well in a new environment. The men never really experienced what it was like to live in a time where everyone and everything blended harmoniously. After reading this in the book, I immediately made a mental connection to a memory of the 6th grade.
At the peak of the swine flu epidemic, my school started to administer vaccines to protect the students against the disease. I forgot to hand in a consent form to give them permission for a vaccine, so instead of getting a vaccine, I got the nasal mist in my nose. The nurse asked me what my favorite fruit was, and I replied “umm.. apples! ” Not knowing what it was for, she made the thick goo they shot up my nose apple flavored. This was probably one of the weirdest feelings I have ever experienced. Just like Fili, I did not want to smell apples for a long time.
This excerpt I picked reminds me of a part of the Odyssey. The specific part I am referencing to is the Suitors. After learning how expensive it is to have company over for an occasion, the connection I made between both pieces of literature only emphasizes this idea by giving more evidence. “Not at any rate until the songs have come true! ” (Tolkien 186) “They beat on it, they thrust and pushed at it, they implored it to move, they spoke fragments of broken spells of opening, and nothing stirred. ” (Tolkien 190) “Tomorrow begins the last week of autumn. Said Thorin one say. “And winter comes after autumn,” said Bifur. “And next year after that,” said Dwalin, “and our beards will grow till they hang down the cliff to the valley before anything happens here. ” (Tolkien 193) I purposely picked this quote to talk about my reasoning of how these words relate to the current generation of music. There is little or no rate of songs that are produced today that stay true to the art of music. For starters, most songs today aren’t even made with “real” instruments. Secondly, almost all of the big time artists are auto-tuned.
It isn’t the strongest reference I have made, but I just can’t stand how the stuff they call music is so greatly praised. As the group searches for the secret entrance Elrond has promised the dwarves based on the map, their failure to open the door foreshadows further struggle. The group will encounter more forms of resistance, because this isn’t even the worst part of their luck they have been blessed with. This quote also shows the much repeated theme of perseverance displayed throughout the novel. The excerpt I presented here shows how the race against time is presented for the crew.
This is because they do not have forever to complete their tasks. Since they get agitated at how long parts of their quest take, it highlights qualities of the average Joe that they possess. They are not a group of godly, or immortal beings. We saw them cut down to size similarly when they were trapped by the wolves. “The most that can be said for the dwarves it this: they intended to pay Bilbo really handsomely for his services; they had brought him to do a nasty job for them. And they did not mind the poor little fellow doing it if he would: bit they would all have done their best to get him out of trouble, if he got into it” (Tolkien 196) I have absolutely no use for dragon-guarded treasures and the whole lot could stay here forever, if only I could wake up and find this beastly tunnel was my own front-hall at home” (Tolkien 198) “…but rising from the near side of the rocky floor there is a great glow. The glow of the Smaug! ” (Tolkien 200) I had to chew this quote up a little bit and ponder upon it. A side of the dwarves that has not yet been shown is expressed here. I believe it is greed. The dwarves seem to be using Bilbo for his talents – which make up a good thief.
There isn’t much to say about the dwarves if they used Bilbo all along as their scapegoat. Bilbo speaks for himself in this quote. He is not there to be someone’s tag along. He has a mind of his own and knows what is right and wrong. He also yearns for the safety and comfort of his own home when thrown into the midst of a sticky situation. I can say that Bilbo is a very convincing being. I specifically picked this quote because we have heard of the dragon throughout the whole book, but this is the first actual account we have about Bilbo’s encounter with the dragon – first hand.
The dragon is pictured as any other dragon from a mythical tale would be. The first and most important trait being the dragon having firey breath. It is because of the dragon’s ability to promote havoc that gives the story an interesting outcome. “Now do be careful! ” whispered the hobbit, “and as quiet as you can be! There may be no Smaug at the bottom, but then again, there may be” (Tolkien 215) “Suddenly Bilbo’s arm went towards it drawn by its enchantment. His small hand would not close about it, for it was a large and heavy gem; but he lifted it, shut his eyes and put it in his deepest pocket. (Tolkien 217) “Hear, hear! ” cried Bilbo, and flung himself on the ground. In the rock-chamber there would have been room for a hundred and there was a small chamber in the back. There they laid out all of their burdens. ”(Tolkien 224) I like this quote because it emphasizes Bilbo’s resourcefulness. He thinks through every possible consequence before he acts. This is a very useful trait to have, especially for someone that is on an adventure where one silly mistake can prove fatal. Acting so vigilantly will later prove fruitful for Bilbo.
This is a substantial quote in a rather small chapter. Here we are introduced to the turning point of the story – the Arkenstone. This is just one of the few treasures Bilbo retrieves. The arkenstone is one of the main reasons Thorin set out to reclaim what was once his ancestors’. This quote also foreshadows Bilbo’s future resourcefulness. After reading the rest of the story, I noticed that the men start to reclaim what is theirs. It almost acts as a foreshadowing tool. The men, especially Thorin, know what’s rightfully theirs and how it has been taken from them.
It will only be a matter of time before they find out if they can hold on to their newly conquered area. “The King beneath the Mountain! They shouted. His wealth is like the Sun, his silver like a fountain, his rivers golden run! The river is running gold from the Mountain! they cried, and everywhere windows were opening and feet were hurrying” (Tolkien 226) “Already men were jumping into the water on every side. Women and children were being huddled into laden boats in the market-pool. ” (Tolkien 228) “Arrow! Said the bowman. “Black arrow!
I have saved you for last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well! (Tolkien 229) I interpreted this quote as a great example of dramatic irony. The townspeople, who think the golden colored river in the distance is amassed wealth, are horribly wrong. The gold is in fact, a raging dragon ready to destroy everything in its sight. Everyone starts to cry cheers of joy, when they should be crying tears of sadness.
From this quote, I perceived a very strong mental image. The quote shows the true wrath of the Smaug. At the time The Hobbit was written, 1930, women and children were put first in the event of a disaster. For example, in the movie Titanic, one could see how women and children were loaded onto life boats before men. Here in this quote, if men were the first ones to give up and jump into the water, no one had a chance at survival by far. There would be no one to help others get on their way to safety. This quote stresses the theme of tradition throughout the story.
Because the arrow was handed down from generations of old, it had a much higher importance. The archer believed the arrow had more “experience” seeing more time in battle situations. It is also interesting to read about how much faith was invested into his last shot. This excerpt also sparks my curiosity as to how the archer talks to the lifeless arrow like an old friend. “Now we will return to Bilbo and the dwarves. All night one of them had watched, but when morning came they had not heard or seen any sign of danger. But ever more thickly the birds were gathering.
Their companies came flying from the South; and the crows that still lives about the Mountain were wheeling and crying unceasingly above. ” (Tolkien 234) “Hail Thorin! Why do you fence yourself like a robber in his hold? We are not yet foes, and we rejoice that you are alive beyond our hope. We came expecting to find non living here; yet now that we are met there is matter for a parley and a council. ” (Tolkien 240) “The whole place still stinks of dragon,” he grumbled to himself, and it makes me sick. And cram is beginning simply to stick in my throat. ” (Tolkien 243)
I picked this quote to explain how the foreshadowing of Thorin reclaiming his ancestor’s mountain cabin wraps up. The dwarves are hiding out in the mountain, and now they will have to hold off against whoever feels obligated to collect the dragon’s treasures. As the narrator switches points of views, he pictures birds thickly gathering. When you see something abnormal occur in nature, you get a feeling something bad is about to happen. This picture Tolkien painted compelled me to keep on reading. Expecting the dwarves to be dead, the humans and their allies have come to claim the dragons’ treasures.
The humans mean no harm to the dwarves, and once they find them there they suggest they should split the riches. Thorin, feeling all of it is his become very defensive and abruptly declines. This is the first time in the novel I found Thorin to be so bold in his actions. Considering they greet him with an overly-polite “Hail Thorin! ”, I think he should have gave them a small share for slaying the dragon. Although I am not in the situation personally, I couldn’t say what I would suggest. After finally reaching what his whole journey was driven off of, he would need time to make a decision.
I find quote humorous and ironic. Thus because Thorin wanted to remain close to his newly acquired treasures, and now he has to being that the mountain is besieged. Now, Thorin has had enough of the mountain when the fun just started. “Now the days passed slowly and wearily. Many of the dwarves spent their time piling and ordering the treasure; and now Thorin spike of the Arkenstone of Thrain, and bade them eagerly to look for it in every corner. ” (Tolkien 244) “I am tired of stairs and stone passages. I would give a good deal for the feel of grass at my toes.
I would give a good deal for the feel of strong drink in my throat, and for a soft bed after a good supper! ” (Tolkien 246) “All in good time! ” said Gandalf. “Things are drawing towards the end now, unless I am mistaken. There is an unpleasant time just in front of you; but keep your heart up! You may come through all right. There us news brewing that not even ravens have heard. Good night! ” (Tolkien 249) This is one of my most favorite examples of dramatic irony I came across in the novel. Thorin is searching for the Arkenstone restlessly.
What he doesn’t know is that Bilbo swiftly retrieved it on one of his first adventures into the mountain. At one point Bilbo gets worried after Thorin says he would put his life on the stone to get it back. Bilbo doesn’t want a conflict to erupt between the three races. The dramatic irony throughout this novel up to this point made it much more fun to read. Eventually Bilbo is tired of sticking it out in the mountain. He longs for him humble life so he takes matters into his own hands. Offering the Arkenstone, something so valuable to his expedition, to avoid conflict is something that was just in his nature.
An action like this was very brave for him, but he knew what he needed to do. In this quote, Gandalf is congratulating Bilbo on a job well done, yet not to become complacent because it is not all over yet. I think that it is essential Gandalf appreciated Bilbo’s actions of bravery and how he carries out what he believes in with such finesse. Bilbo gets excited because of Gandalf’s compliments, and I felt happy for him. “By the beard of Durin! I wish I had Gandalf here! Curse him for his choice of you! May his beard wither! As for you I will throw you to the rocks! He cried and lifted Bilbo into his arms.
Stay! Your wish is granted! ” said a voice. The old man with the casket threw aside his hood and cloak. “Here is Gandalf! And none too soon it seems. If you don’t like my Burglar, please don’t damage him. Put him down, and listen first to what he has to say! ” (Tolkien 250-251) “The Goblins are upon you ! Bolg of the North is coming, O Dain! Whose father you slew in Moria. Behold! The bats are above his army like a sea of locusts. ” (Tolkien 255) “It was a terrible battle. The most dreadful of all Bilbo’s experiences, and the one which at the time he hated most. ” (Tolkien 257)
This quote that I picked only further emphasizes the fact that Gandalf’s and Bilbo’s views correspond with each other. Nothing bad can really result from a duo with supernatural powers and great resourcefulness. I also appreciate how Gandalf cuts Thorin down to size. I believe that the riches he sits upon got to his head and now he somewhat corrupt. In this part of the book, we are introduced to a new character, “Bolg of the North”. According to the book, Bolg is the son of Azog. This is very interesting because earlier in the book we learned Azog was the goblin who killed Thorin’s grandfather, Thror.
This reminds me of the short story we read earlier in the year, The Interlopers, and how the hostility remained between the generations of family. This explanation of the battle given on the account of Bilbo really made me realize the degree of severity in which it occurred. If this was worse than Bilbo’s experience of being chased up a tree by wolves and then having it slowly burnt down with him stuck up there, then this battle must have been pretty bad. I would have to say it was by far Bilbo’s nightmare occurring in reality. “When Bilbo came to himself, he was literally by himself” (Tolkien 261) There indeed lay Thorin Oakenshield, wounded with many wounds, and his rent armour and notched ace were cast upon the floor. He looked up as Bilbo came beside him. “Farewell, good theif,” he said. I go now to the halls of waiting to sit beside my fathers, until the world is renewed. Since I leave now all gold and silver, and go where it is of little worth, I wish to part in friendship with you, and I would take back my words and deeds at the Gate. ” (Tolkien 262) “So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending! ” said Bilbo, and he turned his back on his adventure.
The Tookish part was getting very tired, and the Baggins was daily getting stronger. “I wish now only to be in my own armchair! ” he said” (Tolkien 268) This statement, which opens up the 18th chapter, highlights the life of solitude Bilbo longed for the whole time he was away from his ascetic life. Tolkien shows how he was forced to cope by himself with no one there for him as they were either dead or in hiding. I felt a lot of sympathy here for Bilbo because he was always there to lend a hand to everyone else but in this instance, no one was there for him.
Thrown in a much different situation, Thorin acts completely different towards Bilbo. Even though I disliked Thorin a lot since the beginning of the book, I looked at his character with a lot more respect after he parted by making amends with everyone – especially Bilbo. Bilbo definitely deserved an apology and I revere Thorin for delivering it. I noticed that as time went on in the book, Bilbo kept longing for his hobbit hole. Since his Tookish blood that has longed for adventure is now satisfied, he needs time to recover from everything he has seen and experienced.
Now fueled and fired by the drive to get home, nothing is going to stop Bilbo. He is now a much stronger, wiser, and keen hobbit. “The dragon is withered, his bones are now crumbled; His armour is shivered, His splendor is humbled! Though sword shall be rusted, And throne and crown perish With strength that men trusted And wealth that they cherish, Here grass is still growing, And leaves are yet swinging, The white water flowing, And elves are yet singing Come! Tra-la-la-lally! Come back to the valley! ” (Tolkien 269) “Bless Me! What’s going on? He cried.
There was a great commotion and people of all sorts, respectable and unrespectable, were thick round the door, and many were going in and out – not even wiping their feet on the mat, as Bilbo noticed with annoyance. ” (Tolkien 274) “Thank goodness! ” said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar. ” (Tolkien 276) This excerpt, the elves being the speakers behind it, recite these lines in song. This quote shows how the slaying of the dragon and triumph over the goblins and Wargs not only positively affected Bilbo and the dwarves, but life in all of the lands. Because of their brave actions, everyone can now live much more peacefully.
In this quote, Bilbo finally returns home. He’s been ‘round the world and back – literally – only to find his belongings are being auctioned off to strangers. If I was in Bilbo’s situation I would have probably gone berserk and thrown everyone out, one by one. I couldn’t even have imagined such a thing happening to Bilbo. If there was one thing I can see Bilbo caring about is his good ‘ol pipe and tobacco. These two items are the perfect combination to calm down and relax such a humble hobbit like Bilbo. I happy that at least his pride wasn’t stripped from him at his homecoming. Bilbo has returned at last.