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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: But the important part of that line: Edit Log


Jan 21 2012, 11:32pm

Views: 1353
But the important part of that line

Is not "gold" but "hoarded." Having, and wanting, gold is okay. But hoarding it speaks to a larger problem of pride. The key questions is: why do people hoard gold? There are many reasons. Because they like shiny things, because they are cautious and want a cash reserve, because they listen to Glenn Beck. But Thorin's reason for wanting to hoard the gold is "pride" and that is the more important characteristic - the "source" of his apparent greed.

If PJ and company don't look at the source of his greed, which is being over-proud, than they are missing the much richer theme of the Hobbit. The richer theme is a Feanorian lesson. Do not love that which you have created "overmuch" for it can lead to destruction. Pride gone wild is Thorin's problem, not simply "greed."

IMO, the overriding theme of the Hobbit is that a mix of Thorin's and Bilbo's characteristics is optimal in life. That is, be merciful and pragmatic (Baggins Bilbo) rather than full of vengeance and prideful folly (Thorin). But while you should be merciful and pragmatic, you should also not lose sight of nature and faery (Took Bilbo). In short, mix grace with nature.

This is also the fundamental difference between Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Lewis rejected faery and nature outright, as being at odds with Christianity and therefore repugnant. Tolkien, though a strong Catholic, felt it was important not to lose sight of the wisdom and poeticism of our pre-Christian ancestors. That's why he gave us a wonderful world of pre-Christian heroes who act like Christians. He found value in both eras.

(This post was edited by Shelob'sAppetite on Jan 21 2012, 11:33pm)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Shelob'sAppetite (Valinor) on Jan 21 2012, 11:33pm

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