The Hobbit: Book and Movie

*Spoiler Alert*

I just finished reading The Hobbit last night. I have seen all the movies. I think though that if I had read the book first I would be rather disappointed and not like the movies so much. I’m usually a book purist when it comes to film adaptations. For instance, I really prefer the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice instead of the new Kiera Knightly one. I think that both book and movie have their merits here. I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed both the book and the movies.

For the movies I did like all the parts of the movie that weren’t in the book. The one thing though I wish they hadn’t done is the use of Orcs in the films. There is no character in the book that is an orc, and they could have used a goblin instead, though goblins are more terrible to look at as they have depicted them.

Legolas and Tauriel do not come into the book. However, I did like the little romance between Kili and Tauriel. Radagast only is mentioned a couple times and doesn’t come into the book at all. Thorin’s death in the book is much less dramatic in the book than in the movie. The end of the battle in the movie drew tears on my part. I suppose the movie had much more romance in a way to die than the book did. I did like how the movies went more into individual dwarves than the book. I liked the depth of character of Balin, though he must have an extraordinary long life. In the book he and Gandalf come to visit Bilbo long after their quest is over. Evidently Dain, the cousin that Thorin called upon to help takes over as King Under the Mountain after Thorin’s death.

It wasn’t clear to me why the movie left out some of the stuff in the book, while adding so much that wasn’t there. You’d think that they’d take the whole book and then add stuff. There are plenty of Hobbit purists out there and they’ve written plenty of articles about differences and the merits of each. These are my thoughts. I hope that more people read the book because of the movie.

The Great and Holy War

I majored in history in college and I guess you could say I was mostly interested in religious history. This is the type of book I’m interested in. I don’t exactly have the same paradigm as the author, but you never really hear about the religious side of, well, anything really. I’m in the middle of this book, but I’m looking forward to finishing it.

Candide by Voltaire

I decided to read Candide because I bought it a long time ago and it’s just been sitting on the shelf. Secondly I’ve played the following musical piece so many times that I’ve lost count.

It was an interesting book. Its pace was incredibly fast. There weren’t many times that Voltaire waxed eloquent on the description of the scene or other objects. It was an easy read, a relatively short book. It was a tale of optimism versus everything sucking and there being nothing you can do about it. For my part I think life lies somewhere in between.

1984 by George Orwell

I didn’t read this with the intent of writing about it. However, since it’s on the list that I posted, I thought I’d write down my thoughts. I picked this book to read because it has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while and I haven’t read it. I always knew that it was a classic, but really had no idea what it was about. I had the general idea that it was a modern kind of dark book. And now that I have read it, it is a dark book.

At the beginning it reminded me of the movie V for Vendetta. The government can control everything you do, and knows everything that you think mostly by your behavior and even slight minuscule facial expressions. The government alters the past so that no one can find evidence that the government wasn’t right in the first place. I suppose that this interference on the part of the government is supposed to be corollary for the socialist movements in Germany and Russia as the first copyright is in 1949. It may be that if the Axis powers had won that our lives would be much like the ones in this book.

The protagonist in this story first rebels in his mind against the Party (the government) – called thoughtcrime. He is eventually caught and reprogrammed. It is a trying business to put all your thoughts under regulation so that nothing bad occurs to you (what is bad is good in this book, as far as the Party is concerned). In the end, he does succumb to the Party’s propaganda and he is able to control his mind and emotions.

The last paragraph flabbergasted me. I was so hoping for a happy ending with truth, justice, and freedom winning out. As it is of course my being raised as an American that makes those things on such a high pedestal for me.

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache. O cruel, needless understanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, every thing was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

He had won the victory over himself… Wow… If for a second the Party had better ideals and did not affront truth or an uncorrupted human nature, then maybe the journey that he went through was more something to be cheered. If he had conquered his passions, his sins, his base desires, I would have looked on his struggle as something holy.