Hobbits and Tolkien

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:28 pm

There is an aspect to hobbits as Tolkien presents them which I always felt the films completly missed. And that is Tokiens dislike for much of what hobbits stand for.

Its particularly in my mind now as I was flicking through some of the Letters on the matter.
The attitudes of the hobbits. Insular, even within the levels of their own little society, seeing ignorance as a source of pride, are all things Tolkien dislkied and all things hobbits are or do.

The Gaffer is a prime example- worrying trouble might come of Sam learning to read and write; practises of those higher up the social ladder than him. Telling Sam that potatoes and cabbages are more for th elikes of him.
The Gaffer is the sort of working class father who squashes all attempts by their offspring to self expression or making more of themself with mockery.
Think of the hoard of names Sam has for himself from his fathers 'put down Sam' list.
The Sackville Bagginses are the sort of people who are equally narrow minded and full of their own self importance. The sort who Terry Pratchett observed would, in the event of surviving a nuclear holocast and living in a wate land, still look down on people who ate their cockroaches the wrong way.
Ted Sandyman is another example of a closeminded hobbit.
Even Fatty Bolger is a bit pathetic, still half attached to his nanny's apon strings and to comfortable to want to risk anything for any cause or risk any change to his safe little life.

Yet hobbits are often thought of as basically simple loveable folks living an ideal life. I wonder why this? Any thoughts?

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Post by Kafria on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:31 pm

Because essentially they represent much of what makes us human and none of us really want to think ill of ourselves!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:39 pm

I suppose. But it just so prevailent in hobbits.
Even Farmer Maggot who is by hobbit standards a bit more in touch with a wider picture shares the same narrow minded distrust of people not from his area.
It just struck me as I was reading Tolkiens comments in Letters that is was a side of hobbits rarily shown or talked about.

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Post by halfwise on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:43 pm

I think it's just the typical picture of insular country folk. Nothing surprising there...people have some affection for their roots even while slyly poking fun at it.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:46 pm

I shall have to track down the quotes- but when I read it it seemed unduly strong- as if it was something Tolkien felt very strongly about and which made him quite crabbit.
I guess it just suprsied me that he had put into hobbits much of what he most disliked about people.

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Post by Kafria on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:46 pm

It's not, but it is very typical of your british rural communtiy. And something that I suspect most don't see in themselves, so don't recognise it in the hobbits. As individual traits they are seen as colour.. it is only in the bigger picture they are an issue
(also often these things can be seen as endearing.. I have a real issue with the 'yorkshire farmer' stereotype. they are lauded as characters when really they are often just rude, cranky and self important.)

edit: and what halfwise says!

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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:57 pm

I dont think he disliked Hobbits he disliked humans. Hobbits are basically us, but with hairier feet. The Shire is supposed to be England in microcosm therefore he is critisizing the attitudes of the English society of the time which was still class ridden and deferential to the toffs.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:09 pm

Its not just the class thing its as much the squashing dreams thing- the idea that some things like art and elves arent proper things for a person to be thinking about- silly, airy-fairy thoughts for idiots and softies. 'Buckle down learn about yer cabbages and taters or you'll fetch a clip rond the ear my lad' thinking he seems to particularly dislike.

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Post by halfwise on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:13 pm

I don't get the feeling Tolkien dislikes it...it's sort of the basis of most fairy tales that people escape from their cloistered world. I think Tolkien actually likes it because it sets up the jailbreak scenario so essential to the escapism of fantasy.

But you refer to letters and such. Are there quotes where he specifically inveighs against the village mentality?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:26 pm

Letter 1331

They (hobbits) are made small..partly to exhibit the pettiness of man, plain unimaginative parochial man.

246

Sam is meant to be loveable and laughable...he is a more representive hobbit than any of the others that we have to see much of; and he has consequently a stronger ingredient of that quality which even some hobbits found at times hard to bear; a vulgarity- by which I do not mean a mere 'down-to-earthness'-a mental myopia which is proud of itself, a smugness (in varying degrees) and cocksureness, and a readyness to measure and sum up all things from a limited experience, largely enshrined in sententious traditional 'wisdom'.
Sam was cocksure, and deep down a little conceited; but his conceit had been transformed by his devotion to Frodo.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:29 pm

well I think its pretty much what some parents do, they kind of try to knock the fantastical out of you and say 'forget wandering off with the elves, get a sensible job'. They try to make you stop daydreaming and get your head out of the clouds.

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Post by halfwise on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:42 pm

Wow, hobbits are small to represent the pettiness of man is quite a statement. Somehow this doesn't come across in the books, though.

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Post by Orwell on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:46 pm

Rubbish, Petty! Rubbish! He is aware of human foibles, but he is more often fond than he is critical! Rolling Eyes

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Post by halfwise on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:50 pm

Endearing. That's the word we're searching for.

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Post by Wisey Banks on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:56 pm

Tolkien found his fellow hobbits
endearing
He made fond jokes, and in their
hearing,
Wise folk can laugh at themselves,
always,
But foolish Scotshobbits do go
astray,
├žause their brains are full of heady
buckie -
and if they say wise things, we call 'em
lucky!


The Scotshobbit Mind - A False Legend: Robbie Burns.

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Post by halfwise on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:16 am

{{{ hehehe }}}

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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:20 am

((((((Laughing )))))

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:22 am

If your not careful Wisey we will withdraw all Scotshobbit inventions from Ozhobbitsland and see how you like living in a mudhole! Extremely Crabbit

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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:26 am

with Owls!

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Post by Norc on Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:05 pm

remember when the hobbits grew older and started a boyband?
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:40 pm

Ha, Billy , Elijah and Dominic look like their beards have been drawn on in felt-tip pen. Very Happy

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Post by Eldorion on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:18 pm

Damn, Billy Boyd is looking old. What is he now, 45?

Edit: 44, apparently.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:25 pm

Old!!! Hobbits and Tolkien 2276801876 How dare you Eldo you whippersnapper- he's only a few years older than me (and considerably younger than Orwell I feel duty bound to point out, at least once to make myself feel better).

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Post by Norc on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:29 pm

Eldorion wrote:Damn, Billy Boyd is looking old. What is he now, 45?

Edit: 44, apparently.

well.. no.. not really, well older, but he just past the therties and.. well.. some people acutally look better with a few gray hairs... Rupert Graves for instant. and George Clooney.. And Billy Boyd. Martin Freeman too actually.
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Post by Orwell on Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:48 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Old!!! Hobbits and Tolkien 2276801876 How dare you Eldo you whippersnapper- he's only a few years older than me (and considerably younger than Orwell I feel duty bound to point out, at least once to make myself feel better).

You're only as old as the Boy Band member you're feeling. Just ask Ally! Very Happy

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