In a hole in the English classroom, there lived a hobbit : Archetypal criticism and ways to use The Hobbit for EFL learning

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Author: Arvid Granström; [2019]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: This essay focuses on Bilbo Baggins’ journey towards becoming a hero in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. In order to analyse Bilbo’s development as a character, Joseph Campbell’s theory of the hero’s quest is applied to his journey. Since Bilbo does not possess the traits of a traditional hero character, the model is not expected to fit Bilbo’s journey. However, the model does actually fit his journey, in contradiction to the expected. This essay also argues for the use of The Hobbit in the EFL classroom since the novel’s variety of themes and large fandom can work as an incentive for students to analyse fantasy in order to get familiar with older literature and use the fantasy worlds as a metaphor for our own world. Since the main focus of this essay is on archetypes the critical lens is archetypal criticism.

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