The Hobbit as a Monomyth

1028 Words5 Pages
“The Hobbit is read year after year and represents a fantasy world that learners are not always quite familiar with.” To some, The Hobbit comes across as a complicated and intricate book, yet it is a perfect example of a monomyth within the genre of fantasy. Monomyths, a basic pattern found in novels to describe the hero and his quest, usually consist of archetypes, characters or situations/events that are repeated time and again in novels. In this essay I will define two archetypes: the hero and the quest. I will also evaluate The Hobbit and argue whether or not it can be described as a Monomyth. Before we can begin defining the archetypes though, we first need to place the novel in a genre. A fantasy is extravagant, unrestrained in imagination and it tells of an action that occurred in a nonexistent and unreal world and it involves incredible characters. As one reads The Hobbit, one encounters the strangest and most interesting characters, including the wizard Gandalf, the dwarves, the trolls, the goblins, Gollum, Beorn, the eagles, the wargs, the elves and many more. These are all incredible characters who don’t really exist. We are also introduced into a new nonexistant and unreal world, starting in Line 1, Chapter 1 already: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms… it was a hobbit-hole… It had a perfectly round door like a porthole…” The fact that there is a hobbit (a character that is already a strange concept) living underneath the ground, in a cozy home on the side of a hill, already proves the absurdity of the novel. After taking a look at the incredible characters and the nonexistent and unreal world, we can surely place this novel in a fantasy genre. But before it can be classified as a monomyth, two of the archetypes found in the novel first need to be defined and evaluated. The first
Open Document