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A Man's War And A New World

840 words - 4 pages

A mysterious world full of adventure was created by a man who went by the name of John Ronald Tolkien. He populated this mystifying world with beings such as elves, dwarves, and hobbits. This world created in the realm of literature and was esteemed by many, and criticized by others. His story remains one of the most well created pieces of literature to date. Many events throughout J.R.R. Tolkien’s life had an impact on his writing, such as his interest in philology, his life as an orphan, and his service in the First World War.
According to Harold Bloom on Bloom’s Literature, Tolkien was interested in philology since his early teenage years, an interest that led him to stumble upon Beowulf and Anglo-Saxon mythology. Anglo-Saxon mythology presents itself in many ways throughout The Hobbit. “…an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf over which his long white beard hung down below his waist, and black immense boots.” (The Hobbit, pg. 13) This description of Gandalf seems to bear a very close resemblance to the Anglo-Saxon God, Odin, who was often depicted as an old man who wore a long cloak, with a long white beard. Gandalf also brings help to Bilbo along the way, as Odin did with great heroes.
Another piece of Anglo-Saxon mythology comes from the story of Beowulf. Near the end of the story of Beowulf, a thief steals a gold cup from a dragon, causing it to be angry and seek destruction of the creature who might have taken it. (Elements of Literature, pg. 42) In almost identical circumstances, Bilbo sneaks up on a sleeping dragon and burgles a large golden cup from underneath him. (The Hobbit, pg. 185)
Following Tolkien’s passion for philology, he was very interested in language, and the way languages are created. George Stade and Karen Karbiener state in Bloom’s Literature that “Tolkien's interest in language led him to create his own, which he called Elvish.” It continues on to say that he created his own world to amalgamate with elvish.
Just as it was mentioned in a Bloom’s Literature Guide by Harold Bloom, Tolkien was an orphan by age 12, and he moved around copiously from home to home. This is exemplified in his writing mostly by the hobbits. Hobbits frowned upon change and adventure, much as Tolkien disliked his adventures being ripped from home to home. These hobbits symbolize the kind of life Tolkien wished he could have; a...

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