The book I read and analyzed was "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkein. I
shall discuss the plot and character development, setting, author's style
and my opinions about it.
There are too many characters in the story and so it is hard to follow
and know each one of them. (There are many dwarves and it's confusing.)
In the beginning there is an introduction where the author tells a bit
about what is a hobbit and the hobbit's (Bilbo) family. It is not very
complicated and the author makes it easy to understand. This introduction
gives the general background, which makes the story easier to understand,
for the plot and its development.
The plot development in the middle is not complicated and easy to
follow. It can even be summarized in a few sentences.
The ending is expected since the author gives hints about it. As in the
introduction when he says that the hobbit would gain something, this
means that he will not die. Then, the reader is not kept in suspense and
does not expect to see what happens at the end.
The last climax (or what is supposed to be the climax) takes a long
time to occur (the last fight-good (men, elves, dwarves & eagles) vs. evil
(wargs & goblins)) and this reduces its effectiveness.
After the climax there is the long return home. It is quite boring since
there is nothing to expect to and the reader knows that the hobbit would
get home safely. In my opinion it should have been shorter.
The creation of the characters is done by their dialogues and
monologues, actions and things noted by the narrator (the author in this
case) himself. An example for dialogue: "All the same, I should like it all
plain and clear, also I should like to know about risks, out-of-pocket
expenses..." (by Bilbo, page 22, it shows that he is not ready to jump into
things so quickly). An example for a monologue: "Now is the time for our
esteemed Mr. Baggins, who has proved himself..." (by Thorin, page 210, it
shows Thorin's style). A good example for action is when Thorin blocked
the Gate in the mountain that shows the reader that the treasure is
important to Thorin and he rather die than giving it away. An example for
notes by the author: "You are familiar with Thorin's style on important
occasions..." (page 210) the author talks directly to the reader and helps
him understand the text.
Each character has a physical description. The length and content of
the description increase as the character importance to the plot increases
(e.g., the hobbit has very long descriptions in the story (especially in the
introduction) and the Elvenking has fewer descriptions).
The more important characters get an emotional description too, but it
is not well seen, but it can be extracted from the text by analyzing it. The
example I gave before about Bilbo not rushing into things is a good
example for this too.
The central figure is the hobbit, Bilbo. He is the one that makes many
things occur by his mistakes and luck. The author gives long descriptions
of him and refers to him a lot, he also made him save his companions' life
and without him the plot would not have been the same.
The supporting cast is divided into the more important characters
(such as the dwarves and Gandalf) into less important and less described
ones (such as the elf guards that caught the party in the woods).
It is hard to believe that the characters can exist in reality since they
cannot, and they are not supposed to since it is a fantasy book.
The story occurs in the imaginary world-Middle-earth-created by
the author, it is appropriate since creatures that are found in the book (e.g.,
goblins and dwarves) do not exist in our world.
Since the story happens in many places over Middle-earth the author
gives a deep description only in places where important things to the plot
happen but in other places he gives a more general description. Most
places make the reader have a picture in his brain of them, the author uses
the appropriate words and gives good descriptions.
It takes the story about a year to occur. It starts at the spring and ends
in about the same time the year after. Parts of the story take place in every
time of the day (and night).
The mood is of fantasy world, where everything (like magic and huge
treasures) can appear and happen.
The words used in the book are not very complicated, but there are
some words that are not longer in use, or used just in poets (such as 'ere'
in some dialogues).
The style in which the dialogues are written depends on who is
talking and when (e.g., when the Elvenking talked to Thorin he did not
treat him with respect (because elves hated dwarves) and so did Thorin
because he was offended with his captivation).
There was no suspense in the story, because of the author that
destroyed it right at the beginning and with his hints all over the story,
saying that the hobbit and his friends would win and get what they wanted.
At the end it was clear that the good people are going to win the battle
against the evil.
The plot is not very complicated and it can be summarized by one
paragraph or something like this.
Although I like fantasy style, I did not really like this book.
The book was the worst fantasy book I ever read, although I know
that the author is considered to be one of the people that gave the fantasy
style a great push.
Even though the book is well written there are some faults that make
it boring and uninteresting (such as the lack of suspense that I already
discussed before). Comparing this book to the "Dragon Lance" series and
especially the first, original ones, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
the "Dragon Lance" is much better.
For this book to be more interesting some changes need to be made,
like dropping all the notes that the author puts in about the characters.
These notes that reduced the suspense made the book very boring and I
even fell asleep once reading it.
If you want to read a fantasy book, you should skip this one and read
a book of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman that are better authors.
If this writer (died?) wants to continue writing, let it be, but he should
not expect me to read it.
Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/coursework/the-hobbit-by-j-r-r--tolkein.php