2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Of Hobbits and Lacan: Bilbo’s Journey to Reconnect With His Mother
Jennifer L. Massa
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

According to psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, a child’s connection to his or her mother is essential in the early stages of the child’s life. In this paper, I will examine J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (1937) through the Lacanian lens by analyzing protagonist Bilbo Baggins’ motive behind joining a company of dwarves on a dangerous expedition, which contradicts the docile nature of a hobbit. Baggins goes with the dwarves because of his childhood inability to connect with his mother on a sufficient level due to her own suppression of her inner adventurous nature. Because Baggins does not have that connection, much later in his life he unconsciously seeks to follow in his mother’s footsteps by going on his own journey, and finally becomes one with his Took family heritage.

Keywords: Lacan, hobbit, mother, connection, suppression, adventure, motive, child

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 7-3
Location: OP 2117
Time: 8:45 am

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