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  The Roles of Hobbits and Men
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   Author  Topic: The Roles of Hobbits and Men  (Read 333 times)
Storyteller ~RSF~
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The Roles of Hobbits and Men
« on: July 02, 2007, 05:17:09 pm »
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When I first started studying LOTR, long ago..really...long ago.. I found a quote about the way Tolkien uses certain races that has always been a favorite of mine. I'd love to hear what you think of it, if you agree or disagree and why, etc. Wish I could remember who wrote it,. It wasn't me.

The quote is this:

"In LOTR, hobbits represent Man as he is, and Men represent Man as he COULD be."

Do you think this is plausible and why?

Hugs,
Rach
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Re:The Roles of Hobbits and Men
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 04:19:25 am »
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Erm...hmm. In LOTR, hobbits have imperfections - ie. Frodo could not destroy the ring, his human-ness held him back. Mybe the author of the quote meant that the Men in LOTR are very brave and almost unnaturally strong-willed, so this is what men aspire to be rather than what they are? Obviously Boromir with his weakness for the Ring is an exception.  Sorry, I don't know if all that made much sense, I haven't studied LOTR!
« Last Edit: July 03, 2007, 04:21:10 am by maryd » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:The Roles of Hobbits and Men
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 05:26:48 am »
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Quote from: Storyteller ~RSF~ on July 02, 2007, 05:17:09 pm   

When I first started studying LOTR, long ago..really...long ago.. I found a quote about the way Tolkien uses certain races that has always been a favorite of mine. I'd love to hear what you think of it, if you agree or disagree and why, etc. Wish I could remember who wrote it,. It wasn't me.

The quote is this:

"In LOTR, hobbits represent Man as he is, and Men represent Man as he COULD be."

Do you think this is plausible and why?

Hugs,
Rach

Well I think the first part means the race of Men are like Hobbits..A friendly and loving race who will only go to battle if needed, the second part means the Man could be like the race of Men in that they will go to battle without fear or time to reason why. Man COULD be heroic..Does that sound correct, It's my view on it anyway

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Re:The Roles of Hobbits and Men
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2007, 06:59:58 am »
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Well, first of all...

I think hobbits represent the ideal way of living to Tolkien. They love the peace and nature, are allright with simple living, often make big families and smoke pipeweed ( )... They are very british, like Tolkien was.

I think he also wanted to show, that even the most meek beings have the seed for will power and courage some place where it's needed.

I think he writes men like he's philosophizing what they would choose when they have to face the evil. And there's some answers too, about how the men could be at their best (and worst). And it really does'nt relate to races or skin colours of men in the books, there has been written good and bad things about all of them.
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Re:The Roles of Hobbits and Men
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2007, 07:33:29 am »
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I think every one of you has a good interpretation.


Quote:
Mybe the author of the quote meant that the Men in LOTR are very brave and almost unnaturally strong-willed, so this is what men aspire to be rather than what they are?

First good point! I think you're right, that the race of Men is very much an idealized version of mankind, what Man COULD be rather than what he is. I like to add to the quote a line of my own,

"...Man is Man as he COULD be"..both good AND evil.
In other words, that Man in LOTR represents Man's POTENTIAL, his power for both good and evil.


Quote:
Well I think the first part means the race of Men are like Hobbits..A friendly and loving race who will only go to battle if needed, the second part means the Man could be like the race of Men in that they will go to battle without fear or time to reason why. Man COULD be heroic..Does that sound correct, It's my view on it anyway

And you have another good point. And it's related to this one.


Quote:
I think hobbits represent the ideal way of living to Tolkien. They love the peace and nature, are allright with simple living, often make big families and smoke pipeweed (  )... They are very british, like Tolkien was.

Tolkien always said that he was, essentially, a hobbit (even though his tombstone has "Beren" on it.) He liked gardening (which is why one of his main heroes is a gardener. To him that was a profession of great honor), smoking, eating, and peace. Hobbits, I think, represented the people he loved best, the common people of rural England. Men were the types of which people expect heroes to rise. Hobbits are the race from whom you DON'T expect heroes to spring, but who often forced to be heroes because the mighty can't manageto solve the problem.

DOes that make any sense at all?

Hugs,
Rach
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Re:The Roles of Hobbits and Men
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2007, 08:19:59 am »
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Yeah it makes sense. You can't really make the final judgement on people only by the first impression.


There's also third race with short growth in Middle-Earth, dr˙edain, and you really cannot see at first sight on top what they really are, either. But Tolkien does'nt have much text about them I suppose.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2007, 08:22:59 am by Lorienel » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:The Roles of Hobbits and Men
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2007, 03:38:04 pm »
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AH, the ancestors of the Woses. They were very different from hobbits of course with stumpy bodies and rather aboriginal habits and culture.

It's very interesting that Tolkien tells us only that hobbits are a "sub-branch of Men, and never how they came to be. We DO know that hobbits once inhabited lands very close to Rohan, because their languages were so similar.

Hugs,
Rach
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