Archetypes In Literature

612 Words 3 Pages
The book How to Read Literature like a Professor, written by Thomas Foster, describes an assortment of archetypes, or themes, to explore in everyday literature. The Hobbit, written by J. R. R. Tolkien, is a story about a young male who goes through a life changing journey that reflects some of these archetypes. There are many types of archetypes in this story including a communion and a hero’s quest. The story shows young readers that you can have an adventure without needing fancy technology, but simply through using your imagination.
The main character, a young hobbit, is named Bilbo Saggins. He lives on the outskirts of Hobbiton, a village of hobbits. He is used to the comfort of his hobbit hole, where he lives his life. But this changes
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Bilbo protests but Gandalf explains about treasure and dragons, making Bilbo curious if the wizard is telling the truth. This curiosity fuels Bilbo to leave his comfort zone and go on an adventure. He witnesses that Gandalf was not lying and he encounters many hostile monsters. He discovers a golden ring which makes the user invisible (this comes in handy many times throughout the story). Eventually after confronting trolls, goblins, Wargs, and escapes on flying eagles, Bilbo is reunited with the dwarfs, and saves them by using the magical ring and sword to free them. The group overcomes challenges with elves, a dragon named Smaug and making a new friend (the archer Bard). The humans, dwarfs, and elves join together to win epic battles.
This story uses the archetype of a great hero’s quest. It includes the knight, Bilbo Saggins, and a dangerous journey, the deadly trek through places riddled with death, evil knight(s), hostile creatures, an evil dragon, Smaug, and the “holy grail”- the mountain of treasure. But what was the reward for Bilbo? Easy, the ring. This leads to future adventures recorded in The Lord of the Rings. Bilbo acquired a magical item that showed him everything has something special about it. This is a fine example of the archetype of hero’s quest.

After an examination of The Hobbit, the many archetypes demonstrate how we can have our own adventures either by imagination or by doing something as simple as going on a walk. This intrigues readers to go out to make something out of what life gives

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