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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Narrator in The Hobbit

vexx801
Rivendell


Sep 6 2013, 7:30pm


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The Narrator in The Hobbit Can't Post

Mae govannen.

Unlike Tolkien's other works in the Middle-Earth legendarium (Children of Hurin, Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, so forth), The Hobbit contains a narrator that often uses the words "I" or directly addresses the audience as "you." For example, "I suppose hobbits need some explaining..." This narrator also utilizes a variety of modern things from 20th century England. An example of this is the notion of a policeman riding a bicycle over the mountains (although that may simply be me misremembering and that notion only being present in early drafts). Seeming anachronisms are really ways of engaging the audience further, a way of being able to relate the unfamiliar to the familiar.

That being said, I have always been interesed in Tolkien's usage of a narrator. I realize that The Hobbit was not crafted as part of Tolkien's larger legendarium up to that point - although elements of the mythology seeped in and remained, linking the worlds together so that it was not beyond the realm of feasibility when he placed The Hobbit firmly in the same world - but this narrator itself is really a sort of character.

I suppose my reason for this thread is mainly to discuss the role of the narrator in The Hobbit, his "interuptions" in the narrative where he directly addresses the reader or makes a comment about something goung on, the literary techniques Tolkien utilized and whatever else you folks think up.

Subject User Time
The Narrator in The Hobbit vexx801 Send a private message to vexx801 Sep 6 2013, 7:30pm
    Well, I seem to remember... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 6 2013, 9:02pm
    In the first chapter Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Sep 6 2013, 10:55pm
    The narrator was a well-established character in Tolkien's literary imagination squire Send a private message to squire Sep 7 2013, 1:40am
        Great post Squire Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 8 2013, 12:39am
            I have a rather more complicated relationship with that kind of narrator… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 8 2013, 10:15am
                Dating the work Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 8 2013, 10:25am
                    Something fashionable in children's fiction of Tolkien's time? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 8 2013, 11:21am
                        I do also agree with Squire! noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 8 2013, 11:24am
                        A telling modern example of this… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 8 2013, 6:08pm
                            Into The Woods (1986) Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 8 2013, 6:38pm
                        There are children's books, and then there are just books: squire Send a private message to squire Sep 8 2013, 9:55pm
                            The "bedtime story" or "fatherly" tone noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 9 2013, 10:41am
                            Surprisingly recent publishing industry discovery - childrens books are sometimes "just books" :) noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 9 2013, 11:23am
                Go for it NoWiz! elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Sep 8 2013, 2:52pm
                    What I really +don't + want to do though is to curtail this discussion now. // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 8 2013, 6:05pm
        "The Lord of the Rings, the mash-up masterpiece" - brilliant // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 9 2013, 4:07pm
    That's funny.. aruman Send a private message to aruman Sep 7 2013, 6:43pm
        Are you thinking of an editorial interjection into Sam's packing (as the Fellowship leaves Rivendell)? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 13 2013, 10:50am
            Aaaahhh yes! That's it, thank you! aruman Send a private message to aruman Sep 13 2013, 1:47pm
            Interesting idea. squire Send a private message to squire Sep 13 2013, 5:07pm
                That seems a very likely explanation… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 13 2013, 5:23pm
    “The Hobbit that can be spoken of is not The Hobbit.” Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 11 2013, 6:29pm
        And "Reader, I married him" // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 11 2013, 8:42pm
            Good one! Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 11 2013, 8:55pm
                The first-person narrator (or editor) is always a bold gambit, I think… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 11 2013, 9:17pm
                    It can be a good choice for a first time writer. Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 11 2013, 9:37pm
                        Whose on 1st? Whose on 3rd? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 12 2013, 5:55pm
                            I think 1st person is tricky CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 12 2013, 6:15pm
                                Yes. Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 12 2013, 6:22pm
                                    Do you mean that you have multiple narrators? // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 12 2013, 9:00pm
                                        Yes. Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 13 2013, 1:16pm
                                I loved how Tryon used first person in The Other Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 12 2013, 6:26pm
                                    And that was before M. Night Shyamalan! // CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 12 2013, 7:04pm
                                    You may enjoy "Robot", which you will find is in the 2nd person noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 12 2013, 8:58pm
                                        Thank you for the link Furincurunir Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 13 2013, 3:36am
                                We thinks the 4th person is under-used, doesn't we, Precious. // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 12 2013, 8:53pm
                                    It's tricksy squire Send a private message to squire Sep 12 2013, 9:37pm
                                        Lol! // CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 12 2013, 9:53pm
                                        Well done - does look difficult to keep up, except maybe… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 13 2013, 6:49am
                                            or, in the other direction, "Anthem" squire Send a private message to squire Sep 13 2013, 10:28am
                                        I'll claim the 5th - no actually I won't noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 13 2013, 10:21am
                                Omniscience... and pretending lack of it noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 13 2013, 10:41am
                                    Well Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 13 2013, 2:29pm

 
 
 

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