Some will probably roll their eyes at this title. After huffing in annoyance, they will say, “J.R.R. Tolkien incorporated men as men in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Hobbits are part of the fantasy.” This is how it seems to them. Those of us who have dwelled a bit longer in Tolkien’s Middle Earth see things differently. For, we see how Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past.
But, don’t take my word for it. Take a look at what the author had to say about the matter himself:
It is plain indeed that in spite of later estrangement Hobbits are relatives of ours: far nearer to us than Elves, or even than Dwarves. Of old they spoke the languages of Men, after their own fashion, and liked and disliked much the same things as Men did. But what exactly our relationship is can no longer be discovered.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – Prologue
The above quote came from the second page in The Fellowship of the Ring. Now, I could relist all the characteristics Tolkien used to describe the Hobbits, comparing them to mankind’s characteristics. However, that seems redundant. So, I will settle with brief descriptions and outlines from the prologue and first chapter.
Without farmers, mankind would cease to exist. Farmers work hard, love to see things grow, and are skilled with farming equipment. Traveling back through time would reveal how vital growing grains, vegetables, fruits, and animals were to everyone who wished to get by in relative comfort. The average modern American man forgets the farmer’s vitality. However, Tolkien did not, as can be seen in his garden-loving Hobbits.
Other ways in which Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past exist in the various Hobbit races. Though America is quickly turning into the biggest melting pot imaginable, where children are born with fair eastern skin tones and flaming red hair, it did not begin this way. Most of mankind’s recorded history reported various races and cultures amongst the earth’s populations, other than Adam and Eve. Hobbits are the same.
As for the story regarding how Bilbo Baggins acquired the One Ring and all his fame and fortune, that is for another tale. We will explore with Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit in another series. For a quick reminder, merely pick up The Fellowship of the Ring and read the last part in the prologue!
How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – Chapter One: A Long-Expected Party
J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past (and, to be completely honest, even more so in modern men) in their less desirable qualities, as well. And, when I say less desirable qualities, I mean the sinful nature common to all mankind. For even the Hobbits had some less than admirable characteristics.
Reading through the first chapter brings a certain Hobbit name forefront to the mind when thinking about lesser qualities: The name is Sackville-Bagginses. When Bilbo Baggins told stories about these disliked relatives, there always seemed to exist a strong aura of greed, theft, selfishness, hatred, and discontent. Much like past and current men and women throughout the world.
Oh? Might someone disagree with me about having disagreeable qualities in his or her nature? To each his own faith and religion. As for me, I shall adhere to the belief that everyone will die for their sins, but Christ can save us all if we only believe.
There also existed in the Hobbits a strong sense of xenophobia (i.e. the fear of strangers). Throughout the years, the Hobbits withdrew, slowly but surely, from the Middle Earth’s Men, Elves, Dwarves, and other creatures. They even grew suspicious, doubtful, and presumptuous toward their own Hobbit races. Why did the Sackville-Bagginses distrust and dislike the Brandybucks? I have no clue, other than their being distrustful and dislikable themselves.
How Tolkien’s Hobbits Resembled Men in Decades Past – To Be Continued…
This short article is by no means a comprehensive look at how J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbits resembled men in decades past! As the story continues, I along with fellow fans and readers will learn to see how the Hobbits exhibit mannerisms and qualities, both loveable and dislikeable, similar to humans. However, to see the similarities properly, one might need a PalantÍr Stone or the Mirror of Galadriel.
Please continue with me as I move forward through The Lord of the Rings trilogy once more! I shall do my best to read other interpretations and gather all the cohesive thoughts on the beloved books. If you think I’m too off point, please tell me your thoughts in the comments below!