Within the novels, The Hobbit and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, both J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling invent fictional realms in which an array of magical creatures resides. The Hobbit includes the journey of Bilbo Baggins as he, and an accompaniment of dwarves, attempts to acquire an abundant treasure trove from under the protection of the dragon, Smaug. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone contains an account of the daily trials of the protagonist, Harry Potter, through his development as a young wizard. Each primary character lacks a parental figure; Bilbo due to his mature state, and Harry as an orphan. However, both protagonists are aided by a father-like figure in the absence of a genetic male parent. The characters of Gandalf and Dumbledore within their respective novels act as paternal figures to Bilbo Baggins and Harry Potter. This familial relationship is predominately characterized by Gandalf and Dumbledore's actions to impart wisdom, support the growth of, and protect the physical wellbeing of their childlike counterpart.
Within J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Gandalf undertakes a parental role when interacting with Bilbo Baggins, and does so by instructing Bilbo in various life lessons. As a hobbit, Bilbo possesses a small stature and is inexperienced in matters pertaining to the world outside of Bag End. These traits are reflective of a childlike state, and establish Bilbo as a juvenile character in contrast with Gandalf.
[...] This paternal relationship is reflective of the overarching themes of children's literature as both The Hobbit and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone includes the development of a character with the aid of a parental figure. Works Cited Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing Print. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. London: Collins Print. [...]
[...] Gandalf cleverly disguises his voice, and distracts the trolls by involving them in an argument until sunrise. With the arrival of the sun, the trolls turn to stone, and the dwarves are free (Tolkien 59). Gandalf's rescuing efforts continue when the company is imprisoned within the Misty Mountains by a group of goblins. Gandalf slays the Goblin King and leads the dwarves to safety; however, Bilbo becomes separated from the group and experiences some difficulty escaping the mountain. The dwarves attempt to convince Gandalf to abandon Bilbo, resulting in the retort: brought him, and I don't bring things that are of no use. [...]
[...] Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the characters of Gandalf and Dumbledore possess the role of father figures in relation to Bilbo Baggins and Harry Potter. This is displayed through Gandalf and Dumbledore's encouragement of Bilbo and Harry's personal growth and development as they each are faced with various struggles. Gandalf and Dumbledore also serve to impart knowledge and wisdom upon Bilbo and Harry, and to maintain their physical safety. Both Gandalf and Dumbledore greatly influence the success of Bilbo Baggins and Harry Potter in their respective quests. [...]
[...] Rowling, Dumbledore acts as a paternal figure through his support of Harry's success. Dumbledore's most predominant action is providing Harry with the means to defeat Professor Quirrell and Voldemort by using the Mirror of Erised. Dumbledore bewitches the mirror so that it will give the Philosopher's Stone to an individual who wants to acquire the stone, but not use it for its immortal properties. As in The Hobbit, Dumbledore is absent when a difficult situation arises, and therefore, Harry must take matters into his own hands. [...]
[...] Dumbledore's advice to Harry, establishes him as a paternal figure within the orphaned adolescent's life. Within The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Gandalf is conveyed as a father- like figure as he constantly encourages Bilbo to grow by challenging him through new experiences. Gandalf's first interaction with Bilbo mainly consists of Gandalf persuading the hobbit to participate in an adventure. Although Bilbo declines Gandalf's offer numerous times, as he is not interested in partaking in such affairs, Gandalf's persistence and socially aggressive nature forces Bilbo to withdraw his renunciation. [...]
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