Tolkien’s hobbit characters are capable of a particular type of rhetorical persuasion, one which relies on their ability to leverage their status as outsiders among the other people of Middle-earth. The hobbits are uniquely suited to the task of bringing unity to Middle-earth’s people because of the simplicity of their rhetoric, which focuses on proving their own morality and presenting truths without elaboration. When compared with the text, the film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings also help highlight the importance that Tolkien placed on the simplicity of hobbit rhetoric. These abilities of the hobbits become clear through a narrative analysis of the stories from Tolkien’s world, including Bilbo’s speech patterns, the efforts of Merry and Pippin to convince the Ents to fight Isengard, and Frodo’s appeal for unity and aid as made to the Council of Elrond.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Watson, Samuel Bennett, "“Chosen Instruments”: Tolkien’s Hobbits and the Rhetoric of the Dispossessed" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 8264.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, hobbits, outsiders, rhetoric, truth