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 Post subject: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: December 21st, 2011, 1:51 am 
Vala
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So, I just re-read The Hobbit and this time around I was thinking about the lack of a single female character in the novel. I still love the book, but it is quite disappointing that the presence of women in Middle Earth is basically completely ignored (the only exceptions being a mention of Bilbo's mother and a mention of the women and children of Esgaroth). Obviously, middle earth is made up of many patriarchal societies, however Tolkien did include a few very strong female characters in the Lord of the Rings.

I'm just wondering what other people thought about this (why you think he decided to not have any female characters or what effect this had on your enjoyment of the novel).

Personally, I'm very interested the portrayal of women in literature, movies, tv, etc., and to see a complete lack of even peripheral female characters definitely indicates a completely masculine world in which men make all the important decisions. At the same time, I do adore the story of Bilbo, the unlikely hero, who I do not think possesses typically "masculine" traits, being able to hold his own and be a leader. Overall, The Hobbit is undoubtedly an excellent story, but I think it is lacking in this aspect of the narrative.

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: December 21st, 2011, 3:11 pm 
Rider of Rohan
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This fact did not effect my view or enjoyment of the story.

I really think that women are not dominant in his stories because maybe he was no comfortable writing about women so much. Tolkien is a man, afterall. ;) Perhaps since he couldn't relate to them as well, he simply didn't write about them as much.

I am glad he included more female characters in LOTR though. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: December 21st, 2011, 6:48 pm 
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I think the point of him not being able to relate to them as well is an excellent one. I also am pretty sure that's why Jackson added one into his version of the story. I also though never felt it was missing from the story. It's a kids story with no need for romance. Just a "there and back again" adventure.

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: December 21st, 2011, 7:18 pm 
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^ I think since it isn't a romance and a believable female character wouldn't be running around with a bunch of man-dwarves, it's probably a good thing that he didn't include any ladies. :yes: I'd rather have no women than a few poorly written chicks hanging around just to say that they were there.

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2011, 12:27 am 
Rider of Rohan
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I agree with your Shadowcat. Your point is my thoughts. :) There are too many stories out there with pointless characters (man or woman) just because they "had to be there". I think Tolkien did it in good taste.

Even though I wish he did more with the female characters in LOTR, I think they still worked with his story, after all, Frodo was his main point, whilst they were back stories. Lovely back stories at that too. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: December 22nd, 2011, 2:19 am 
Istari
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I didnt even think of the absence of female characters when I read the book, and I still dont. I dont think a female character would have fit in well anywhere in The Hobbit, really. I cant see one tagging along with the company on the journey, and I'm not sure what role a female character would have played in any of the towns or anyplace the company stopped at either. I am glad he included some girls in LotR, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: December 28th, 2011, 8:23 pm 
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The lack of female characters didn't really effect my view, like most of the posting, I agree that the lack made it more fun to read, but a little romance would have been sweeter, like the master of Laketown has a daughter who is secretly in love with Bard. Like Beriadanwen, I enjoy strong female characters and its nice to read about strong women.

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: January 13th, 2012, 11:01 pm 
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I agree with most of the people on here. I don't think a female character would be even necessary and the lack of females didn't ruin or change my view of the book. I think it's fine just the way it is with all the guys. ;D

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: January 24th, 2012, 5:09 pm 
Ent
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I honestly didn't notice, as I was reading it. I was more captivated by the adventure, and what Bilbo experienced. I have to agree with what others have said, that if they did add women to it, it would have just been for the sake of having a woman there. Because, the story was about adventure and being out of Bilbo's comfort zone, and not about romance.

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: January 29th, 2012, 10:49 pm 
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It's really not that nessesary to have female characters in the Hobbit. And i really didnt notice that there wasnt any. I'm a girl and i write stories with guys as the main characters and girls as the main charatars. LotR doesnt really have that many female characters either, though the ones that are there are good.

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 1:33 pm 
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I've been reading The Hobbit since I was very little, and I never actually noticed this. I never felt the lack until someone mentioned it, tbh.
That doesn't mean it's not a little disappointing when I think about it, but honestly I wouldn't really go back and change it. I do think that if women were added into it, it would be just for the sake of there being women, and that would be more disappointing. I hate women characters for the sake of women more than I'm bothered by there not being women. As well as the point that another poster brought up, that whenever there are women and men together in a story, seemingly there must be romance, and I think the reason I liked The Hobbit so much when I was little was because there wasn't any romance. It was refreshing.
I just think, whenever sexism is overcome in the future, the lack of female characters will be more of an oddity than an offense, I guess. And there might be stories that lack male characters to balance it out. When there isn't a 'war' to fight, then things like this might lose their appearance of danger, because we won't be on edge and feel as though we have to fight it all, I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2012, 3:24 pm 
Gondorian
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Hey there are thousands of females in the chapter about Beorn.

Or at least that's the buzz I'm hearing ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: February 4th, 2012, 2:49 am 
Queen of Eregion
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It doesn't bother me at all. It works.

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: February 5th, 2012, 11:15 am 
Hobbit
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I, too, did not even notice the lack of female characters until now. It would be nice to have a female character in there somewhere, but everything else about the book is awesome, so I'm not really worried. Now, if Tolkien didn't have women in ANY of his stories, it would seriously bother me, but LotR and the Silmarillion both have plenty of women in them, so I'm OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: February 13th, 2012, 9:29 am 
Istari
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I didn't even notice it! I assume Tolkien finded more comfortable to write about men because he was a man himself. I guess he was that type that can't relate to woman.

But it didn't bother me, I still found the Hobbit one of the most entertaining books I have read :)

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 Post subject: Re: Lack of Female Characters
PostPosted: March 12th, 2012, 3:06 pm 
Hobbit
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i didnt even notice it when i read the hobbit, it didnt spoil it at all for me

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