The Hobbit was first published on September 21, 1937, and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012 with the release of the first of three films by Director Peter Jackson. It is a fairy story, but not a story about fairies. Nor is it an allegory. It does, however, throw illumination on our Primary world (the world in which we live), evokes literary belief, and offers a piercing glimpse of Joy. As a sub-creator, J.R.R. Tolkien has given us an excellent story by which our minds and hearts are enriched, our worldview is challenged, and we are given the opportunity to think analogically (to think God’s thoughts after Him) in order to interpret our lives in the light of His Word. Tolkien opens our eyes to astonishing things we never expected to see in order that we may be filled with wonder.
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In the fall of 2012, John Musselman presented the contents of this download to a group of people who met for ten weeks to discuss The Hobbit in order to gain a greater understanding of Tolkien’s work prior to viewing the film on December 14. We saw the film together and, afterwards, met in a private dining room at a local restaurant to consider what we had just seen in the light of our individual and group study. Later, John presented this same material in a webinar for the European Leadership Forum (ELF) for 40 people from 9 countries.
The contents, all in outline form, include a brief bio of J.R.R. Tolkien’s life from his birth in South Africa to his death at Oxford University in 1973, ten years after the death of his friend, C.S. Lewis. Also included is an analysis of the genre of The Hobbit, recurring themes, characteristics of Fairy Stories, suggestions for engaging the culture and for sharing its true meaning, as well as a portrait of Gollum. There are 97 slides in this presentation.
If you are interested in teaching this material and would like a copy of the PowerPoint slides, please contact the Jackson Institute.
J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit: Understanding & Sharing Its True Meaning
On Fairy Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien
Forbes Magazine Review of The Hobbit (Mark Hughes)
Discussion Questions for Chapters 1-10 of The Hobbit