Tag Archive | The Hobbit

In which I discuss the background

I think I mentioned my background yesterday, and I’m going to go into a little more detail today. The background is incredibly simple, perfect for image to ease me back into the art world after a long break for the sake of schoolwork and family vacation. As I started the background I found what it really looks like is the background of a photo, the kind that’s hyper focussed on the foreground, and the background just becomes a colored blur, and there isn’t really any depth. That’s part of what it makes it so simple. I think it’s also a bit fitting for the image in question, remember that it’s focussing on a flower. WHat I regret is that I couldn’t see the end from the beginning, so that I could shape the colored blurs in a way that was more appropriate. As it is, you can tell I didn’t really have a plan when I started the background. Which is sad, but again, I’m not going to beat myself up about it too much, since I’m getting back into the swing of the thing.

 

Right now I’m watching the video blogs for The Hobbit. AAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I’m sorry, I just get so excited, I love this movie and I love watching special features. It’s so beautiful. I’m so blessed to have been born in an era when I can appreciate wonderful films like this. Oh geek moment. I really hope that one day I can, in my small corner of life, create beautiful things too.

Patterns, motifs, and manifestations

We’ve been reading Beowulf in my British Literature class. For me it is like The Odyssey, I like discussing themes and from the literature, but don’t enjoy reading the actual literature itself. I don’t tend to go for the macho male hero who blinds cyclopses or disarms ambiguous monstrosities for my pleasure reading, but again I think the themes are very valuable.

The third story of Beowulf is particularly intriguing to those who have read The Hobbit. Tolkien was, of course, a big fan of Beowulf, and was actually responsible for bringing that story back into our curriculum. And the parallels between Beowulf and The Hobbit are so blatant sometimes. One very important theme in both stories is the idea of ‘the little guy’ becoming a hero, the one that nobody suspects, the one that seems far too naive and powerless. Have I ever told you that one of my favorite moments of The Hobbit movie is when Bilbo stands between the pale orc and the fallen Thorin? It’s a beautiful moment.

Another… motif, if you will, is the dragon. Dragons are the manifestations of greed (we see this in The Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis as well). I found this quite interesting, mostly because it made me think about fairy tales– which we have been discussing in my Children’s Literature class. For instance, one of the motifs in Snow White is the mirror, which is the perfect symbol for vanity. And that could be considered one of the themes of Snow White, vanity and envy. Both, of course, are as prevalent in today’s culture as they were back when the tales were first spun. These are human weaknesses that persist through time, which perhaps is why we still have that kind of literature today.

It gets the imagination going, you know? You start to wonder if we have recognizable symbols for other weaknesses, like pride, selfishness, revenge, deceit, and so on. And you also start to notice that different objects, symbols, or motifs can apply to lots of different stories. For instance if we went back to the mirror; that can belong to Snow White’s Evil Stepmother, or it could belong to Narcissus. Or, the mirror is a bridge between worlds, like Through the Looking Class. Lots of stories involve these sort of seemingly ordinary ‘bridges,’ like a rabbit hole, a wardrobe, or a cyclone. It’s just so fascinating to see how it is all woven together, and then wonder what you can do with a structure that already exists.

The Hobbit- a beautiful movie

Oh can words express?

The Hobbit was a beautiful movie. Oh I wish my family had seen it, so I can talk with them about it. It was truly lovely.

It’s so hard to gush over things in print, sometimes. It seems unnatural. It is better, of course, to talk with other people about it. So perhaps I will not make this very long, even though I have much to say. First of all…. I LOVE the dwarfish singing! Of course, I knew that from the preview. But they kept the song about breaking Bilbo’s dishes! I was so happy! I had hoped they would keep that in. Ah I love Thorin’s voice, I love the singing! Actually, the music in general was just divine. And it’s so lovely to hear those old themes; the shire, mordor, etc. And the new theme… Love it to death. Also, I love the brown wizard, I forget his name, and his…. mode of transportation. Gladriel was gorgeous. It was so good to see the elves again! I look forward to seeing the other elves in the coming movies. Ah, Rivendelle, so wonderful to be back… and to know that Bilbo will see it again. The locations… all of them…. beautiful. And I liked the trolls- they were funny. They were supposed to be. I love watching the dwarves fight… and eat. They’re so coordinated in both activities.

And I liked Bilbo too. Especially that dubious look he gives Gandalf when he first meets him. It was truly a lovely moment when Bilbo is standing in front of a fallen Thorin.

More than in Lord of the Rings, I like the tone of The Hobbit. It’s… an adventure story. But it’s not saving the world, it’s reclaiming home. And that gives a good, emotional core for the movie.

Basically, I loved it. How can you top this?

What if Peter Jackson directed The Prydain Chronicles?

 

The Hobbit- Kiddo’s book report, and my rant

So my younger brother (he’s a teenager, but I dubbed him ‘Kiddo’ years ago) is doing a book report on The Hobbit. He told us last week that his plan was to do a diorama, but he had no specific idea in mind. So I started throwing out suggestions. The great thing about The Hobbit is that it has plenty of things that are perfect for dioramas. In fact, we got so many ideas that… well… we decided, why pick just one? We kinda got excited (‘we’ meaning myself, the brother in question, and a few of my sisters). So currently, we  have it worked so that we have a mulit-scened diorama. We have three boxes back to back (as close as you can get to ‘back-to-back’ with three boxes), for Bilbo’s house, Gollum’s cave, and Smaug’s treasure hoarde. If we’re really on top of things, we’ll figure out how to set up a sort of forrest on top of the boxes, for some of the important scenes above ground. We’ve already collected a toy bear, and a couple of those plastic spider rings, just in case we find out a way to stick them in. We also have a toy barrel to set somewhere for Bilbo. It’s been a fun project. Why have none of my book reports been this awesome?

 

 

I’ve read The Hobbit twice. The first time I read it… I wasn’t so into it. I mean, it was all well and good, I suppose, but not quite what I wanted. Now that I think about it, maybe it was the lack of girls. I like my books to have at least a little bit of romance in them, and I always enjoy witty banter if I can get it. I’m generally very character oriented. But there was something else. I remember reading the killing of Smaug, and going “Wait, that’s it?!” And then there were still all those pages afterwards. It felt so incredibly… anti-climatic. You would think that killing the dragon would be the big finish! Well, it wasn’t, and it threw me for a loop.

Then I read it for my Homer to Tolkien class, and I liked it much better the second time through. I knew what to expect for the end, so that didn’t throw me off, and I was reading it while we were learning about the Heroic Journey. That was one of the things I especially loved about my first Humanities class, learning about Joseph Campbell’s Heoric Journey Monomyth. It’s so wonderful, because you can see it in your average entertainment, it’s not some obscure concept that only literary gurus can see and decipher. Shakespeare can challenge some, but if it’s taught right then everybody can see elements of the Heroic Journey whatever movie they choose to watch that Saturday night.

But that was a side note. The point is that when I read it, I remembered that one of the things that I liked about Bilbo is that he really wasn’t the adventuring type. He loved all the comforts in life; a chair, a fire, and regular meals. I could connect with that. It made Bilbo seem more real to me. So, if we thought about this from the perspective of the Heoroic Journey, we could say that Bilbo was tempted to refuse the call because he liked to be comfortable. And if he had chosen to stay within the lines of what was comfortable, he never would have gone on the journey. My Humanties teacher once said, “The Heroic Journey is not the journey the hero makes, it is the journey a person makes to become a hero.” And then there is of course what everybody says, growth doesn’t come in one’s comfort zone. That, for me, was the ‘insight’ that I gained from reading The Hobbit again (see, that particular Humanities teacher was really big into the idea of rereading a piece of literature, or relistening to a peice of music, and to gain insight, so that you can become truely educated instead of merely ‘schooled. He was a great teacher, very animated, and he truely loved what he was teaching).