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The Hero’s Journey in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again: Using Joseph Campbell’s Narrative Structure for an Analysis of Mythopoeic Fiction
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Humanities.
2016 (English)Student paper other, 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates the applicability of Joseph Campbell’s notion of the Hero’s Journey from his theoretical work The Hero with a Thousand Faces on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again. This has been done by outlining the essential aspects of Campbell’s theory and then performing a reading and analysis of Tolkien’s work. Furthermore, this essay focuses on the narrative structure proposed by Campbell, but also the heroic character’s development—in this instance, Bilbo Baggins’ development. As such, a brief examination of Campbell’s attitude and use of Freudian psychoanalysis has been performed as well as a presentation of Bilbo Baggins’ character and dual nature before the adventure. As a possible line of argument Tolkien’s knowledge of myth is also briefly expounded on. This essay does not research or make any definitive statements on the universal applicability of Campbell’s theory, but merely finds that Tolkien’s The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again appears to conform well to Campbell’s proposed narrative structure and that the development of Bilbo’s heroic character, or his character arc, is in concurrence with this as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
Campbell, Hero’s Journey, Hobbit, Mythology, Narrative Structure, Tolkien
National Category
Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21253OAI: diva2:904103
Subject / course
English language education
Educational program
Upper Secondary Teacher Education Programme
Available from: 2016-02-19 Created: 2016-02-18 Last updated: 2016-02-19Bibliographically approved

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