Freshman research paper.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
Tolkien is a historic author about whom everyone knows. He has written many great novels such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He had a very interesting and adventurous life. He was a perfectionist so his books were always very descriptive and in depth. Tolkien was always interested in writing and languages. He went to Oxford and studied English, at which he was very good at. “It was here in Oxford that he became fascinated with Finnish, a language which would form the basis for Quenya; a language he would give to his elves.” (Tejvan R. Pettinger.) His life directly affected his writing.
Tolkien was born January 3, 1892. In Bloemfontein, S.A. His name is believed to be German in origin. He, for the most part, had a good early childhood. “Arthur [Tolkien’s father] was a bank clerk, and went to South Africa in the 1890’s for better prospects of promotion. There he was joined by his bride, Mabel Suffield, whose family were not only English through and through, but West Midlands since time immemorial.” (David Douglan). His father later died in 1896, and at that point Mabel, Tolkien’s younger brother Hilary, and Tolkien, moved to England: (Tejvan R. Pettinger)
Tolkien’s family life was generally lived on the genteel side of
poverty. However, the situation worsened in 1904, when
Mabel Tolkien was diagnosed with having diabetes, usually
fatal in those pre-insulin days. She died on 14 November of
that year leaving two orphaned boys effectively destitute.
At this point, Father Francis took over, and made sure the
boys’ material as well as spiritual welfare, although in the
short term they were boarded with an unsympathetic
aunt-by-marriage, Beatrice Suffield, and then with a Mrs.
Faulkner. (David Douglan)
Since Tolkien’s ‘father’ was a Catholic priest, he and Hilary both became Catholic and stayed Catholic. (David Douglan)
In Tolkien’s teen years, he met a girl named Edith Bratt. They were rather fond of one another. Father Francis later forbade him to see her until he was 21. He obeyed and went to Exeter College, Oxford in 1911. He picked up a lot of skills at Oxford, especially in the English subject and in the Finnish language. Although he was always interested in languages, he became fascinated with Finnish. In 1913, he met back up with Edith and their relationship became stronger. She eventually converted to Catholicism and moved to Warwick. They got married there on the 22nd of March, 1916. That same year, he went to fight in WW1. (David Douglan)
Tolkien and Edith had three children, John-1920, Michael-1924, and Priscilla-1929. “Tolkien got into the habit of writing the children annual illustrated letters as if from Santa Clause and a selection of these was published in 1976 as The Father Christmas letters.” (David Douglan; <http://www.funtrivia.com/en/People/Tolkien-JRR-8123.html>.)
Tolkien has many books published. He wrote most of these in his later and retirement years. Some of them are The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings series, The Silmarillion, The adventure of Tom Bombadil, Sir Gawain and the green Knight, and Letters from Father Christmas. Many of these were published after he died. (David Douglan; <http://www.barrowdowns.com/booklist.php>.)
“One day when he [Tolkien] was engaged in the soul-destroying task of marking examination papers, he discovered the one candidate had left one page of an answer-book blank. On this page, moved by who knows what anarchic daemon, he wrote ‘in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.’” (David Douglan) This was what started him writing his book The Hobbit. After that book took off, he wrote another series of books, The Lord of the Rings. It took him twelve years to write this book. He considered every word and sentence over and over again until he got it right. This book became very popular very quickly. Some reviewers gave it bad reviews for who knows what reasons. Most people gave it good ones, though. That book ,too, took off and after the sale of this book, Tolkien got rather rich. (David Douglan)
Tolkien started on the first few pages of the new shadow, a sequel to The Lord of the Rings, but he abandoned it because he thought it wasn’t worth doing. Tolkien was famous for his quotes and riddles as well (Nuinamarthion)
Tolkien died on the 2nd of September, 1973. His wife died two years before then. On their gravestone it says “Beren and Luthien.” because he thought of himself and his wife as Beren and Thuthien in his book. (<http://www.funtrivia.com/en/People/Tolkien-JRR-8123.html>.)
Tolkien wrote many books, his most popular, however were The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings’ setting is on s fantasy Earth. The time it is set in is before there was electricity so around medieval times. Some of the most common places are The Shire, which is the home of the hobbits, the Old Forest, Rivendell, and Mordor, the home of the orcs and where the ring must be destroyed. (Sparknote editor)
The main character in this book is Frodo. Frodo is Bilbo Baggins’ heir. He is very brave for a hobbit. He is three and a half feet in the book, a normal height for a hobbit, has curly brown hair and blue eyes. Gandalf is the next main character. In the Fellowship of the Ring, the first book, Gandalf is a grey wizard who leads Frodo and his friends through their adventures. He is very powerful and has a kind heart. Sam Gamgee is Frodo’s partner in his journey; he is also his best friend. Sam’s job is the shire is to be a gardener. He joins Frodo on his quest from the very beginning with no hesitation. Aragorn is, after Frodo, a very important character. He is tall, has dark brown hair, and is very courageous. He is very wise, not compared to Gandalf, but he is still a clever man. (The Lord of the Rings)
The book starts in the Shire, the home of the hobbits. Frodo gets a visit from Gandalf after Bilbo, a father figure for Frodo, gives him a ring. This ring has magical powers that makes the wearer become invisible when you where it. This ring also, however makes the wearer somewhat greedy and evil. Frodo and Sam set off to destroy this ring by throwing it in a volcano in Mordor, a place of evil. They meet up with Strider, Aragorn in disguise, at a bar. He helps them in their journey. They are continually chased by ringwraiths, evil creatures working for Solomon that are trying to find the ring. They run into many difficult challenges in this trip, such as fighting orcs, Gollum, a giant spider, and much more. Frodo himself almost dies by the hand of a ringwraith. Whenever he puts the ring on, they know where he is. Frodo and Sam decide to go on their own to destroy the ring. They meet a creature named Gollum, someone who previously owned the ring. They use him as a guide to Mordor, unfortunately, Gollum is only helping them so that he can think up a way to get the ring back. He tricks Frodo into thinking that Sam wants the ring so he tells him to leave and let him and Gollum finish the quest. Gollum then tricks Frodo to go into a cave where the giant spider Shelob lives. They have battle and Shelob stings Frodo and paralyzes him. Frodo then gets taken by orcs into Mordor and tied up. Sam hears about this and goes to help save him, he succeeds in this act. They eventually make it to the volcano and destroy the ring, along with Gollum. This is a very exciting series filled with tons of adventure. (The Lord of the Rings)
The Hobbit is kind of like a prequel to The Lord of the Rings. The setting is almost the same as The Lord of the Rings, but has some different places like the Misty Mountains, the dark forest of Mirkwood, and Lake Town. (Sparknote editor)
Bilbo Baggins is the main character in this book. He is a hobbit like Frodo. He has dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. At first, he wasn’t an adventurer. He liked to sit around and do nothing. That is the nature of a hobbit, though. Gandalf is also a main character in this book with pretty much the same characteristics as in The Lord of the Rings. Thorin is one of the dwarfs that accompany Bilbo on his adventure. Thorin, however, is the leader. He can get kind of grouchy at times, but he’s a good character. (The Hobbit)
The Hobbit starts with a description of a hobbit. His name is Bilbo Baggins. I guess I should describe a hobbit so you better know what he is:
They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and
smaller than the bearded dwarves. Hobbits have no beards.
There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary
everyday sort which helps them disappear quietly and quickly
when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering
along , making a noise like elephants which they can hear a
mile off. (The Hobbit 2)
Bilbo is visited by Gandalf one morning and persuades him to come on an adventure with him and thirteen dwarves. They want Bilbo to be the ‘burglar’ in this quest to steal the dwarf’s treasure back from the dragon Smaug. Shortly after they set off, they come upon three trolls, stupid large creatures, which want to eat them. Gandalf tricks them into staying in the open until the sun comes out. Now trolls turn into stone when they are in the sun so, because of Gandalf’s wisdom, they were saved. They travel around for a long time and decide to stay in a cave of a mountain for the night because of the snowstorm outside. Unfortunately, there are goblins underneath the mountain which take them captive while they are sleeping they accidently miss Bilbo though. He goes in looking for his friends and comes across a golden ring which he puts in his pocket. A savage creature named Gollum finds him and he wants to eat him. They have a riddle war, and Bilbo ends up winning, being the cleaver hobbit that he is. Gollum gets angry and goes to get his magical ring that turns the wearer invisible. The ring though is the one that Bilbo happened to pick up. (The Hobbit; Sparknote editor)
Bilbo uses this ring to escape the goblins. He finds that Gandalf and the other dwarves have already escaped. They travel on to Mirkwood. They get caught up in some kind of giant web and are attacked by spiders. It’s up to Bilbo and his magic ring to save his friends. After he becomes the hero of the day, they are captured by some elves. Bilbo again has to save his friends. They escape by sneaking into some barrels and float down the river. They arrive at Lake Town, the town next to the mountain with Smaug and their treasure inside. Eventually after much confusion and struggle, the dragon is killed by Bard, a skilled archer. Afterwards, an army of goblins come and attack everyone. The goblins almost win but some eagles come and help win the fight. Bilbo then returns to the Shire with his share of the treasure…and the magical ring.
In a lot of Tolkien’s book like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, spiders are always seen as evil creatures. Like Shelob, the spider that attacks Frodo. I think that the reason for this is when he was very little in South Africa; he had a terrible experience with a large spider. It scared him for life and has never liked spiders since. (David Douglan)
When Tolkien was stationed at Hull, he and Edith were walking in the thick woods. It was there where Edith danced for him. I think this was the inspiration for the book of Beren and Luthien. He came to think himself as Beren and Edith as Luthien. (David Douglan)
Tolkien’s life greatly affected his writings. He was a very fascinating man who went through a lot. He was one of those famous people who will go down in history and him and his works will be around for a long time.