Literary Analysis Of Linguistics In The Hobbit

1199 (3 pages)
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. ” are the famous words written by J. R. R Tolkien in his work The Hobbit. There are many authors who have been praised for their use ofeloquent words. However; few authors can say they created their own language. Tolkien through the use of original phonetics can create a behavioral relationship between the reader and characters within his world of Middle Earth. Language was the origination of The Hobbit. Tolkien began the creation of the all of Middle Earth based on the languages he simply created himself. By using language as his foundation, Tolkien is in complete control of how not only the story is told, but the way the story is perceived by the reader. The literal word “hobbit” is taken from a much more abstract word in Old English that translates to hole-builder. English itself is a variation of Old English therefore, Tolkien's use of “hobbit” is interpretable The reader can read with great understanding and asense of familiarity along with a hint of mystery. Hobbit is a word that not every person knows the meaning, Tolkien used this fact to his advantage to quickly entrance the reader to yearn for its meaning along with history. This allows the reader to form an immediate connection to not only the main character, but as well as the world built around the character.

No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

The beloved character Gandalf greets main character Bilbo with an unusual use of the English term good morning. “Do you wish me a good morning,or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not…”(4). Although this is not a new language Tolkien still orchestrates the reader’s mind to dive further into the use of words. By forcing the reader to think on which interpretation of good morning gGandalfmeant to use, it ensures the reader will receive a positive impression of Gandalf. Additionally, the reader sees how he whimsically communicates through the rest of the story. Soon after Tolkien introduces the hobbit, he then begins to incorporate words from an entire Elvish language created by none other than Tolkien himself. The words Orcrist and Glamdring, namesgiven to swords, that were from a past battle. The idea of the names belonging to another era in Middle Earth establishes the history within the world. History within the plot gives understanding to the cultures in the characters pasts. These historical connections are founded on the Elvish words. “This new approach and scope brings to light neglected aspects of Tolkien's imaginative vision and addresses key features of Tolkien's creativity: the centrality of the Elves and the role of linguistic invention in his legendarium, as well as race and material culture in Middle-earth. ”(Fimi). The phrase “linguistic invention” is exactly what Tolkien is demonstrating. The idea of the Elvish words along with the origin of their history engages the reader to form a bond with the characters using them. Language gives readers primary details about the characters manners or even life.

For instance, an Elvish speaking character is soft spoken and gently entertaining in manner. Tolkien establishes these traits with how delicate the phonestics are in the Elvish language. In contrast to Elvish, Tolkien just briefly mentions Black speech. Black speech according to Tolkien is harsh, choppy and condescending phonetics. Referring to Black speech creates intense anxiety to the reader. Tolkien based black speech on the Mesopotamian language Hurrian. Black speech was never fully written by the famous linguist. In true Tolkien fashion he refused to write an abundance of the language within his writings based on the sole fact his characters were disgusted by its sound. Since the characters refuse to utter the speech, readers are both intrigued and repulsed by the mention of it through the novel. Creating such a habitual practice of the characters' skittishness around the language entices the reader to feel the same way the characters are feeling. Fear being the motivation to want more knowledge about the darker elements within the world keep readers in suspense. Tolkien's character Gollum is another key to language and relating with readers.

The character Gollum does not speak a specific ethnic language, yet his linguistics are anything but average English. Tolkien gives Gollum a haunting double personality that causes him to speak rhetorically in broken, uneducated English. The words are vaguely arranged in sporadic thoughts, that only Tolkien could make the language build relationships with the reader. Insert Gollum's quote here with page number. Gollum asks questions to his second identity. Tolkien’s use of the unique style of phonetics makes Gollum appear to speaking an entirely different language than Bilbo. Using the rhetorical questions and scattered english within Gollum’s personas makes the reader begin to have a deeper pitied view of Gollum’s isolation. “ It isn’t fair, my precious, is it, to ask us what it’s got in its nassty little pocketses?”(Tolkien 79). Gollum speaks with himself without any hesitation or reserve; while this is his normal routine, the reader has an opportunity to relate vicariously to the psychological battles ofgrueling depressive emotions he experiences. Most prominently seen through the adventure are the dwarves. Tolkien paid extra attention when crafting their use of words. “Balin at your service!” is how each dwarf introduces themselves to Bilbo (8). The phrase “at your service”implies to the reader that the dwarves are politely educated men. Even when Tolkien is not using a foreign, fictional language; he illustrates new found ideologies of language, and how readers can connect with the characters’ mindsets to better understand the text. Further more readers get an inside view to the similarities between the fictional standards of manners in Middle Earth and today’s societal views of manners.

The dwarves also have their own language that Tolkien created alone. They are a mysterious bunch of characters with comical names that most find to be jolly. Readers really get a feel for how the dwarves have struggled family wise with the songs Tolkien also writes telling of their tragic history. The song is written in a poetic stanza style allowing readers to easily navigate the meaning and sympathized with their pain. Leaving no emotion untouched, Tolkien paints a graphic, depressive picture using folk style rhythm about the dwarves' history with losing their home as well as family. Tolkien derives longiningnessout of the reader through the characters gut-wrenching singing of their long lost people. He emulates this highly relatable emotion to trap the readers in the story. In short, Tolkien is the mastermind of unique languages. Through phonetics, Tolkien brings readers into his world and helps build connections to his characters. Familiar phonetics increases a reader's desire to relate to the character, and their past to better understand the story. Each story has a history of how it began. Tolkien’s foundation is words, words are the key to all communication in society. Tolkien masterfully intertwined language and elegant words to feed off human emotions of relationships. Without the use of new languages The Hobbit would not be such an incredible piece of literary work that to this day Tolkien still inspires and relates to the average reader about his characters, and the world that he created for those characters to dwell within.

You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

*minimum deadline

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

Copy to Clipboard
Literary Analysis Of Linguistics In The Hobbit. (2020, July 15). WritingBros. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from
“Literary Analysis Of Linguistics In The Hobbit.” WritingBros, 15 Jul. 2020,
Literary Analysis Of Linguistics In The Hobbit. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jul. 2024].
Literary Analysis Of Linguistics In The Hobbit [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Jul 15 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from:
Copy to Clipboard

Need writing help?

You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

Order My Paper

*No hidden charges