With the movie The Hobbit being released to the theaters at the end of this year I began reminiscing about how I came to know of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Not long after Kevin and I started dating we read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings to one another. This was a most enchanted experience. I can honestly say that this set of books are top-notch and I consider to be the best among novels. I am so thankful to Kevin that he suggested reading these books. Before reading this set of books I steered clear of reading unless it was required reading for high school or college. I am a slow reader and whether that is at least partially due to my only being able to see with one eye or something else I’m not sure but that is the main reason I disliked reading. But after I read The Hobbit and the LOTR I wanted to read more. It was like a whole new world had been opened up to me. As I began to read more and more I began to be faster in my reading. The LOTR and the Hobbit brought a sense of enjoyment to my reading and for that I will always be most thankful to Tolkien for those books filled with grand adventures.
There is surprising complexity in the Hobbit that Kevin says you get more out of as an adult reader than you could as a kid. Although I did not read it as child, I know he is right. Even though these novels are works of fiction they are much more than that. The novels have much to teach us about life and related to life’s experiences. They teach us about good and evil. About morality. About sacrifice. About power and the danger that it can cause if used incorrectly. These novels make us think and that is a good thing.
At the Catholic Pulse ever since childhood K.G. Montgomery has rejected the notion that “The Hobbit” is simply “an enjoyable, but minor, diversion that merely sets the stage for the serious work that is The Lord of the Rings.” Montgomery goes on to say:
“I’ve always been uncomfortable with this characterization and even as a child had a strong sense that there was a real profoundness to the story. Both the depth and the breadth of the world Tolkien created can be seen immediately in his detailed and evocative portrait of the Shire, which when quickly invaded by Gandalf and thirteen dwarves expands into a sprawling landscape of an entire world.”
Since childhood Montgomery has believed that there is Big Meaning in “The Hobbit”, that it is a profound piece of work, and Thomas Shippey, an expert on Tolkien, helped to confirm that in a piece well worth the read: “The Hobbit: What has made the book such an enduring success?” Shippey offers several excellent points about Tolkien’s work in general and the Hobbit in particular. One that I think is worth mentioning is how different, how revolutionary, or rather, “counter-revolutionary” Tolkien’s work was, and has been since that time, which Shippey attributes to how it was informed and illuminated by the author’s Catholic faith.