Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Personification of Animals

One thing that we talked about in class today was how Tolkien brought together both wilderness and civilization. I find it especially interesting to look at the animals and how he personified them and made them civilized in their own way. Like we said in class, each type of animal has its own kind of civilization. I think a main reason Tolkien had the animals talk was to keep the book light and easy to understand for children, as it is a children's book. I also think that giving the animals these human characteristics of talking and having a civilization makes the animals into characters. If they were just average animals who couldn't talk or anything, then they would have only been a problem for the company to overcome or maybe something that helped the company on their journey (like the eagles). However, when given these human characteristics, the animals really become minor characters in the story.

1 comment:

Luthien said...

I agree - in my opinion, Tolkien giving animals the ability to talk makes the whole world of Middle Earth just that much more intriguing and foreign to me (I want to go there!!!). In a way, giving them intelligence and language (that's more like the language we know) also seems to make it more impressive that Bilbo and Company survive as long as they do (though there was still quite a bit of luck they had along the way, too!).