Sometimes a Sword is Just a Sword: Freudianism Fails to Makes Sense of The Hobbit

In an essay titled “Psychological Themes in The Hobbit,” Dorthy Matthews writes the following: “It is only through chance that the key to the trolls’ cave is found, thus providing unearned access to the magic swords so necessary for later trials.  If the sword is seen as a phallic symbol, its miraculous appearance at the … Read more

Down, Down, and Into the Dark: Evil in the Hobbit [Part 2]

Down, Down, and into the Dark: [Part 1] Part II: Darkness and Black A second theme of The Hobbit, is Tolkien’s concept of descent into darkness.  It is simplistic in that evil dwells in darkness and good dwells in the light.  This concept of darkness no doubt echoes the Christian themes of light and darkness … Read more

Down, Down, and Into the Dark: Evil in The Hobbit. [Part 1]

[I am doing a three part post on evil in the Hobbit.  This was born out of a summer reading assignment in an attempt to teach my students about evil, the seven deadly sins, and darkness as a theme in literature in a manner that is more narrative than direct lecture.  In the process of … Read more