“A hero ventures forth from the world of the common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from the mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man” (Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces). Joseph Campbell, an expert on mythology has outlined a standard form for heroic stories. He identifies ten stages in a hero’s journey, noting that all of the stages have to occur in every heroic story. In the novel, The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins is described as an unlikely hero. According to Campbell, heroes are often the most unlikely person that anyone would expect to be chosen for an adventure. Bilbo goes through many of the stages identified by Campbell for a hero’s journey such as: being called to an adventure, attempting to reject the opportunity, encouraging Gandalf, a helper whoguides and protects him, and leaving the safe haven of his hobbit home to cross the threshold venturing into the unknown. Bilbo Baggins is described as a respectable hobbit who comes from a rich family that never did anything unexpected, and never took adventures. His peaceful life was interrupted one day by a visit from a wizard named Gandalf. Gandalf had decided that Bilbo would make an excellent burglar on an adventure he was planning, because he could move quickly and very quietly. To this request Bilbo promptly replied “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.
Nasty uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I
can’t see what anybody sees in them…Good morning!...
we don’t want any adventures here, thank you!” (6).
Gandalf does not really give the hobbit a choice about going on the adventure. He marks the hobbit’s door with his staff indicating that he is interested in an adventure, and soon after, dwarves start appearing at his doorstep. Bilbo had been called to an adventure by an outside force, attempted to refuse the call, and ended...
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