Welcome to my feature, Pastime Pleasures, posted every other Friday. Today is the turn of The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien.
Here I will look at books that have given me great pleasure in the past. These are books I can read over and over again. The only rule is that the book must have been published five or more years ago.
The Hobbit is a charming adventure story. Often heroes are depicted as strong, large, handsome figures. But here we get Bilbo, he is tiny and because he is a hobbit he is fat. It is also probably safe to say that he isn’t particularly strong. He has, after all, lived a very sheltered life, where his biggest worry is if he has enough pocket handkerchiefs and what to have for supper.
Bilbo is an ordinary hobbit forced (although with some willingness on his part) by Gandalf to go off on an adventure. Yet despite appearance Bilbo processes characteristics which we should attempt to stand by. Bilbo is humble and caring. He does not care for wealth or power. All he wishes for is to be back in his cosy hobbit hole.
Bilbo is someone to aspire to. His counterpart in the book is Thorin – Thorin slowly becomes obsessed with the treasure as the dragon sickness takes hold. Yet he is the prime example of showing that we all want the wrong things.
Throughout The Hobbit we meet all types of magical beings – Bilbo, Gandalf, the dwarves, elves, shape-shifters, dragons, amongst others. This is a journey there and back again. Unlike Bilbo you do not need to go far to change.
The Hobbit is amazing because it can mean so many different things. Each reading brings a fresh understanding of the story. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”