Essay about J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

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The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have been beloved works among many generations of readers since they were first published. The author of these two books, J.R.R. Tolkien is just as interesting a man as many of the characters he created in the world of Middle-Earth. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Africa to a banker manager and his wife in 1892 and had only one sibling, Hilary, who was less than two years younger (Wikipedia). When he was young both of his parents died (one from rheumatic fever, the other from diabetes) and he and his brother were raised by a Catholic priest in Birmingham (Wikipedia). Tolkien was involved in World War One and Two, first as a serviceman, then as a cryptographer (Wikipedia). Indeed he was very…show more content…
One of the most fundamental concepts of human nature is balance, which Tolkien achieves using contrast and parallelism in his writing style. Every level of his writing, from the syntax to the story elements, reflects this idea. For instance, as one literary analyst comments, his“heavy usage of a coordinating conjunction and the resultant parallelism in multiple clauses, often grouped in one sentence, is a stylistic feature … worth noting on its own.” (Reid ). In other words, he repeats certain words or phrases (in this case the word “and”) to help connect and compare elements of the story. An example of this can be seen in this excerpt from The Hobbit in the chapter entitled “Fire and Water” (another example of his use of contrast), describing the attack and defeat of Smaug, the dragon, on a lake town, Esgaroth: Fire leaped from the dragon's jaws. He circled … the trees by the shore shone like copper and like blood with leaping shadows of dense black at their feet. Then down he swooped straight through the arrow storm … Fire leaped from the thatched roofs … he hurtled down and past and round again … though all had been drenched with water before he came. Once more water was flung … Back swirled the dragon … the Great House crumbled and smashed down. Flames unquenchable sprang high into the night. Another swoop and another, and another house and then another sprang afire and fell … Then Bard drew his bowstring … and as he came the
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