The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is set in a fantasy world that has

differences, as well as similarities, to our own world. The author has

created the novel's world, Middle Earth, not only by using imagination, but

by also adding details from the modern world. Realistic elements in the

book enable readers to relate to the setting, yet have the ability to

"imagine" exciting events and organisms not found on Earth.

The majority of differences between Middle Earth and today's world are

found in objects and the actions of characters that can not be carried out

or created in our world. The most abundant example of this in The Hobbit

is the presence of magic. Gandalf, the wizard, is able to help the

adventurers out of a number of dangerous situations by using his magical

powers to harm their enemies. He set Wargs afire while he was trapped in a

tree and created a bolt of lightening to kill many of the Goblins who had

surrounded the group in a cave. The magical ring, which was a key to

helping the group succeed in the book, allowed he who was wearing it to

become invisible to others. Also, there was a black stream in Mirkwood that

made he who drank out of it suddenly very drowsy and forgetful of previous

events. All of these examples of happenings and objects found in Middle

Earth are physically impossible in a world such as ours.

Several of the organisms in the book are not known to exist on Earth.

Hobbits, of course, are fictional characters, as are dwarves, elves,

goblins, and trolls. Many species of animals are able to vocally

communicate with humans and dwarves in the novel, which is not possible on

our planet. Beorn, a human who is able to morph into other creatures at an

instant, is an excellent example of such fiction. The dragon, Smaug, is

the main adversary of the fourteen adventurers and is a type of creature

that has long been used in fantasy writing. Although most of the

characters' species are merely creations of the author, they all exhibit a

sense of realism that causes them to seem almost human.

There is a vast difference between Middle Earth and the modern world,

but there are also several similarities. In Middle Earth, there live

humans, and hobbits, which are very much similar to miniature people. The

language spoken and food consumed in the novel's world are found in modern

society. Also, the fact that Thorin Oakenshield is heir of the throne of

the King under the Mountain and inherits all of the riches of the kingdom is

like the parliamentary system of England. The environment and terrain the

group passes through on their adventure is primarily the same as lands

unchanged by humans and surrounded by nature appear today. In the novel,

there are forests with miles of trees, high, rocky mountains, and flowing

rivers just as there are here on Earth.

It is not possible that a fantasy story such as The Hobbit could occur

in real life. However, I do believe that fantasy can effectively teach us

about reality. There are morals, lessons, and themes to be found within

the text that can help us gain knowledge and live our lives more


Bilbo Baggins took a stand and raised enough courage to do something

he had never thought of doing before, going on a great adventure. This

choice caused Bilbo to gain endurance, bravery, an appreciation of his life,

and many valuable experiences that made him a wiser person. Thorin's

selfish act of not wanting to share the dragon's riches with the other

towns' citizens caused only bad events to occur. This teaches us that

kindness and giving to others will not only benefit them, but will also

cause you to feel more content inside. When the group of fourteen was

staying with Beorn to rest, he gave them suggestions and information about

the journey that lie ahead of them. He informed them about a black stream

out of which they should never drink, no matter how thirsty they may be,

for it would put them to sleep for days. If they had not listened to his

words, their adventure would have ended, as they all would have consumed the

water and probably been captured by enemies. Their experiences teach us

that it is wise to listen to those with