writing style is very witty, unpretentious and descriptive like a
straightforward favourite story being retold. Tolkien's The Hobbit may have
been a portrayal of his experience of World War I, of a forceful heroism, a relatable
protagonist (himself perhaps) who has been unwittingly lured from his rustic
quiet settlement into an adventure where the stakes are high. This reflection is based on the first 5 chapters of the book.
Chapter 1: An Unexpected Journey
The story is a bildungsroman - a formative education and coming of age story- of Bilbo Baggins the main character and protagonist. This is a bit of an irony as he is 50 years old. Bilbo sounds like a simple, prim and proper hobbit with seemingly great pedigree, especially on his father Bungo Baggins' side. Gandalf is a witty wizard, who probably chose Bilbo for his mother Belladonna Took and his maternal grandfather Old Took's blood runs through him. He put a sign on Bilbo's door saying he was a burglar to lead the dwarves to him.
Chapter 2: Roast Mutton
As the journey began, Bilbo seemed to struggle with his Took-side and Baggins-side: He missed his quiet little hobbit life yet the adventure sparked his curiosity. Bilbo however pushed himself to live up to what was expected of him (despite the fact that the dwarves now knew he wasn't a burglar) which was critical to his personal growth on this episodic quest. This was seen when he bravely and stupidly went to pick William the troll's pocket.
Chapter 3: A Short Rest
The difference in the beings and their settlements explored in each chapter so far, brings to mind, the difference in race and cultures in today's modern world, the hostilities expressed between some like the dwarves and the trolls; and the alliances formed as with the hobbit and dwarves, also the elves and the travellers.
Chapter 4: Over Hill and Under Hill
"There were many paths that led up into those mountains and many passes over them. But most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad ends; and most of the passes were infested by evil things and dreadful dangers.” This brings to mind the way life is, where there are seemingly many means to an end but not all means lead to the desired end or to any end at all. The battle of the stone giants and the resulting thunderstorm uses animism suggesting inanimate object such as stone were living beings with a mind of their own.
Chapter 5: Riddles In The Dark
Bilbo's constant craving for his home and his food is a natural human behaviour of craving comfort and wanting the best for our wellbeing. The riddles Gollum gave were of an ancient historical style while the riddles Bilbo gave were of a similar style to modern nursery rhymes yet they both understood the workings of riddles and the game. This fact points to the contrast and similarity of Antiquity and Modernism in language, tradition, worlds and concepts. This also showcases Tolkien's deep background and research into philology, mythology - study of ancient languages and of ancient fables.
I had yet no idea of that "place to be”. I firmly believed it was not just a fruit of my fantasy. Such a place existed. And time passed on, until one day, my father announced a delegation of Nigerian golf players was coming for dinner. The Cameroon golf tournament brought them. "From Nigeria” I thought. "The powerful country with sympathetic people.” My opinion, from the few Nigerian movies I had watched, and each time, stricken by the outstanding roads, interchanges, bridges, houses, cars, infrastructure, wow! Nigeria was undeniably a great country! And my judgment about Nigerians appeared to be right: all our guests, on- that muddy night, removed their shoes before walking into the house. As we were begging them to put their shoes on, they requested not to allow them dirty our house. I was seduced by their behavior which I considered unpretentious. Where will you see that in Cameroon? And here they were, so cheerful! Chatting, singing, clapping, dancing! The whole night, it was Nigeria, Nigeria again and Nigeria after. A joyous night we all had. And for me particularly, a host of souvenirs: Nigerians, easy going people, attached to their culture and values and, above all, proud of their country. What struck me most: the successful people who bore all this simplicity: superior army officials, prominent business men, CEOs of reputable companies: so true, so genuinely true and simple!
As I enjoyed the company of our guests, my dad called me. "How far have you gone with AAA? He asked. Four guests were looking at me, eager to hear my response. I did not know what answer to give. Was he being a proud dad announcing to the world his daughter was going to one of the prestigious schools in terms of advertising? I hoped not. "Nigeria has no envy for South Africa,” I thought. Or was he simply inquiring? Whatever the case, the moment was inauspicious for bad news. I chose a vague and prudent answer: "I have not had any answer from them. It has been a while since I checked my mail.” Dad said nothing, but I knew something was taking shape on his mind.
On the morning that followed, before leaving for office, just as I expected, dad unburdened his mind: "Yesterday, my friends told me about the Lagos Business School. It's such a great school. Find out about it. It sounds better to me than that your AAA advertising school.” I was happy. God Himself was in accordance with what I thought. I could not resist a relieving smile which instantly enlightened the whole of my being. The name just sounded august: The Lagos Business School! It resounded over and over in my mind, always more impressive, majestic. I began dreaming, imagining myself in such a formidable place. I knew nothing about the school. This was the first time I ever heard its intimidating name, but I knew I was to be there. Something about it challenged me in a passionate way. My LBS experience had started.
I picked a copy of a daily newspaper and on front page was a caption on ''Women married to older men''. At first I found it amusing, but on a second thought, why judge a person on his/her preferred choice. We are quick to do that because we assume a person can only marry an older man or woman out of greed and the desire for his/her wealth, and usually termed them ''Gold Diggers''. For some people in such relationship, it could only end up with more lies and less love on the part of the younger lover, the fear of uncertainty (death or sickness). While all these may indeed a possibility, others have a different reason for this choice.
One may decide to go for an older lover (by the way, whoever said an older person must be someone who has being married in the past) who because of age and experience (being there seen it all) now understand the need to be settled. Such a person most likely will have better dedication to marriage, than a young one. Who is still experimenting, even with his or her marriage.
Most people who enter into the covenant of marriage always hope to remain in it. With this in mind, the choice of settling for any one should answer the question; am I sure with this man or woman I can endure the hardship of marriage and fulfill my vow of ''till death do us part'' (According to the Christian rites at marriage), Are we both ready to be married with the knowledge of what marriage fully entails, Is the other party just like I am, ready to be devoted to the sacred duties and obligations that comes with marriage? For some it is the razzmatazz of marriage, for others their '' biological clock'', or even the pressure from family and friends that informs their decision.
For marriage to be worth your while, make a choice of what works for you and what will actually help you stay in it. If the choice of settling for an older lover helps you accomplish that, then so be it. Who cares what the world thinks. None of those raising their brows will help you leave through a difficult marriage, so do what you are almost certain works for you.