The Universal Mirror (Seven Kind Kids Book 27)

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As a diversion from these weighty labors, Tolkien composed stories and sketches for his own children. Immediately Tolkien began work on The Lord of the Rings , published in —55 after years of painstaking revision. In many ways a reworking of the plot of The Hobbit , the length, intensity, and complex theses of the Rings trilogy make it the adult epic Tolkien desired to create. Although its reputation was slow to grow, the paperback publication of the trilogy in the mid-sixties established the enormous fame of Middle-earth and its creator. There can be no question that the great popular success of Middle-earth is due to the labors and spirit of its creator.

Although its most striking creatures are noble elves, evil goblins, proud dwarves, cunning dragons, wizards, Eagles, and demons, the most important race in Middle-earth is men, for whose creation and salvation Middle-earth is prepared. The men of Middle-earth, free to choose their own destinies, run the full gamut from demonic evil and goblin-like depravity to a purity and integrity equaling that of the noblest elves. The contrast between goblins and elves provides one of the most important measures of good and evil in Middle-earth.

The Silmarillion tells that elves, the Elder Children of God, were created to guide men, the Younger Children, on the long journey to spiritual wisdom and love of God. Their lives display a basic goodness, a conservative, pastoral simplicity. Close to Nature and free from personal ambition and greed, hobbits need no government and are generally anti-technology. Rarely corrupted, they never corrupt others.

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The Shire is, for Tolkien, a mirror in which we can see reflected the simple peace at the center of our hearts. Ballantine Books, , p. Allow them to include books, video games, movies, and television shows. Discuss the following questions as a class: Why do you think it appeals to you? What elements make the genre of fantasy unique? Why do you think fantasy has such a strong appeal for students of your generation? For a Secondary World to be serious, it must first arouse enchantment, or Secondary Belief.

Any type of wonder is acceptable, but Tolkien asserts that the act of serious sub-creation inevitably reflects the primary creation, so that even when its objects and inhabitants are marvelous, the values and aspirations of a Secondary World are familiar. Thus, a fantasy world is inevitably a mirror of our own world, and Tolkien explains the nature of this mirror using four terms: Recovery, Escape, Consolation, and Eucatastrophe.

The Snow Queen - Wikipedia

At the same time as it offers an Escape to renewed significance, fantasy offers Escape from things worth fleeing: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. But where Tolkien as author stresses the art of sub-creation and the recovery of wonder, Bettelheim as therapist emphasizes the use of fantasy to teach children about the Primary World and to encourage personal development.

At the heart of this lesson is the fact that the hero must work for his success. Magic accessories and good advice may be given to him, but he must use these aids actively and appropriately, and success often comes only after years of obscure labor or initial failure. Thus, the development of the hero is less a matter of change than of self-discovery.

Vintage Books, , p. Bilbo receives a visit from Gandalf the wizard. The next Wednesday Gandalf returns for tea, bringing with him a party of thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield. How many dwarves come to tea? What does Thorin wear to distinguish himself from the other dwarves? What two things does Gandalf give Thorin?

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How did the dwarves lose their treasure and kingdom? The possibilities include rabbit , hobby, Babbit, habit, and hob. When you finish the book, ask yourself if he still reminds you of one. What is an adventure? Is it something that happens, or is it the way we react to what happens? Can we live without adventures? Return to these questions as the book progresses. Explain all the meanings of good morning pp.

What causes his Baggins side to reemerge pp. Even this early in the book, we can see some of the characteristics of dwarves, wizards, and dragons. Begin generating a list of the characteristics—both physical and character traits—of each of the magical creatures in The Hobbit. Entering a Fantasy World A fantasy novel must offer two things: What readers find attractive is a matter of personal taste, but they are likely to discard a fantasy as irrelevant unless they can find a common perspective from which to assess the attractiveness.

In general, these common perspectives are established in one of three ways: American teenagers will not automatically identify with a fussy English country squire like Bilbo, so the success of The Hobbit depends on a tension between familiar and exotic things, which must be established in the first few pages. But the next paragraphs belie this initial reaction.

Hobbits love comfort in much the same way we do: By the fourth paragraph hobbits seem normal, and other folk—dwarves, fairies, and Big People—are strange. We share not only his sense of wonder, but also the values that make him love his home. Initially things go well, but on the first rainy night they seek shelter and blunder into three trolls. Bilbo and the dwarves are captured by the trolls, but Gandalf outwits them and they turn to stone at daybreak.

Do you think they are fair terms? How does Bilbo know that the three people are trolls? How is Bilbo caught? How does Gandalf rescue Bilbo and the dwarves? Why is it important that Gandalf is not present when the expedition meets the trolls? Myths, legends, and folktales often reflect the values of a given culture. At this point in the story, what can you infer about the character traits that Tolkien considers positive?

What character traits are viewed in a negative light? What is more important at this point: Like most quest heroes, Bilbo begins the story ignorant and untried, and he undergoes a series of preliminary adventures, which help him in two ways. First, they give him the opportunity to learn about the world and the extent and proper use of his own powers.

Second, they bring him the friends and talismans that he will need to prevail in his greatest adventure: Because in a well-constructed quest story the development of wisdom and self-restraint is equally as important as the growth of physical prowess, the quest story as Bettelheim points out in The Uses of Enchantment is often concerned with maturation, and the lessons it teaches are those of adulthood. The specific moral of an individual quest story can usually be found by examining two areas: In part this is because he accepts the fact that he is too small to become a warrior, but more importantly it is because he deplores violence and lacks ambition for power.

Who are the enemies of the elves? What values are important to the elves? Elrond plays a significant role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. How does the way that Tolkien introduces him help set up his importance in later stories? Research the tradition of naming weapons in classical myths and legends.

Why might it be significant for Tolkien to have given the elves named swords? What message do you think is conveyed by the names given to the swords? There Gandalf rescues them and slays the Great Goblin, but as they flee from the goblins, Bilbo is knocked unconscious. What do goblins usually do with their prisoners? Why do you think he does not give specific details about their appearance? Discuss what you think goblins look like, and explain which details in the book give you that idea. Discuss the role that music plays in the development of the different magical beings.

Compare the songs sung by the dwarves pp. How do the songs differ in tone, content, and structure? What do the tone, content, and structure of their songs reveal about the creatures that sing them? Consider the following quote: Can you take this statement seriously? What commentary is he making about the use of military technology?

He finds a ring and puts it in his pocket. Then he encounters Gollum, a loathsome but pathetic creature.

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They play a riddle-game to determine if Gollum will show Bilbo the way out or eat him instead. Bilbo wins the contest, but Gollum then realizes that Bilbo has his ring, which confers invisibility. Bilbo follows Gollum to the surface and evades the goblins guarding the gate. Why is it good that Bilbo lost his matches?

How does Gollum guess that Bilbo has his ring? How do the goblins know that someone is at the gate? Which of the dwarves is the most surprised to see Bilbo? Can you call Gollum evil? Discuss the concept that Gollum is the negative side of Bilbo, with which Bilbo must come to terms before he can achieve his identity. What effect did the ring seem to have on Gollum? How did the loss of the ring affect him? If so, you may choose to discuss how the events of this chapter foreshadow the role the ring eventually plays. What skills does Bilbo show in dealing with Gollum? Should Gollum be considered a sympathetic character?

First, he finds the ring, his second and greatest talisman. Slowly he shakes off his initial self-pity and despair, regains his common sense which includes realizing that his customary means of self-comfort, such as smoking, are inappropriate for this situation , and finally is comforted by the presence of his first talisman, the elvish sword.

In Chapter 4, Bilbo is as imprudent as the dwarves and once more must be rescued by Gandalf and protected by the swords Beater and Biter; in Chapter 8, he is never captured, rescues the dwarves single-handedly, and names his own sword Sting. His decision to go down the tunnel the third time p. These varied experiences prepare Bilbo to deal with increasingly complex moral issues. West of the mountains, Bilbo encounters beings that are purely good Elrond or purely evil goblins and trolls. East of the mountains, the characters are more complicated: Beorn is good but brutish, and the Elvenking is good but overly harsh.

The larger plot structure of The Hobbit is, much like traditional fantasy, cyclical. As the subtitle There and Back Again suggests, the most common structure for a developmental fantasy is for the hero to begin at home, develop skills during the course of a journey, fulfill his quest, and return home with his understanding increased by his adventures. Bilbo and his group flee down the mountainside but are overtaken at night by goblins and Wargs and trapped in five fir trees in a clearing. The goblins set fire to the trees, but the Eagles of the Misty Mountains rescue the expedition, although as usual Bilbo is almost left behind.

What is the proverb that Bilbo invents? Why does the Lord of the Eagles notice the expedition? If not, who is? Explain what might motivate his actions.

The Snow Queen

Would they try to rescue him? What does this suggest about the character traits of dwarves?


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Do you consider this lying? What would you have done in the same situation? What do you think might have happened if he had told them about the ring? At this point in the story, how much of an asset does Gandalf seem to be? Do his actions seem consistent with the way you think wizards operate? Are his powers limited, or is he intentionally refraining from using them? The brand-new plant-based cookbook from the bestselling 1 vegan authors. The 6 Week Programme. The Language of Kindness: Discover the love story that captured a million hearts. A Rivers of London Novella. How Running Saved My Life.

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So Vegan in 5: The following winter, Kai goes out with his sled to play in the snowy market square and hitches it to a curious white sleigh carriage, driven by the Snow Queen, who appears as a woman in a white fur-coat. Outside the city she reveals herself to Kai and kisses him twice: She takes Kai in her sleigh to her palace. The people of the city conclude that Kai died in the nearby river. Gerda, heartbroken, goes out to look for him and questions everyone and everything about Kai's whereabouts.

She offers her new red shoes to the river in exchange for Kai; by not taking the gift at first, the river lets her know that Kai did not drown. Gerda next visits an old sorceress with a beautiful garden of eternal summer. The sorceress wants Gerda to stay with her forever, so she causes Gerda to forget Kai, and causes all the roses in her garden to sink beneath the earth, since she knows that the sight of them will remind Gerda of her friend. However, a while later, whilst playing in the garden, Gerda sees a rose on the sorceress's hat, then remembers Kai and begins to cry. Gerda's warm tears raise one bush above the ground, and it tells her that it could see all the dead while it was under the earth, and Kai is not among them.

Gerda flees and meets a crow, who tells her that Kai is in the princess's palace. Gerda goes to the palace and meets the princess and the prince, who is not Kai but looks like him. Gerda tells them her story, and they provide her with warm clothes and a beautiful coach. While traveling in the coach Gerda is captured by robbers and brought to their castle, where she befriends a little robber girl, whose pet doves tell her that they saw Kai when he was carried away by the Snow Queen in the direction of Lapland.

The captive reindeer Bae tells her that he knows how to get to Lapland since it is his home. The robber girl frees Gerda and the reindeer to travel north to the Snow Queen's palace. They make two stops: The Finn woman tells the reindeer that the secret of Gerda's unique power to save Kai is in her sweet and innocent child's heart:. When Gerda reaches the Snow Queen's palace, she is halted by the snowflakes guarding it.

She prays the Lord's Prayer , which causes her breath to take the shape of angels, who resist the snowflakes and allow Gerda to enter the palace. Gerda finds Kai alone and almost immobile on a frozen lake, which the Snow Queen calls the "Mirror of Reason", on which her throne sits. Kai is engaged in the task that the Snow Queen gave him: If he is able to form the word the Snow Queen told him to spell she will release him from her power and give him a pair of skates.

Gerda runs up to Kai and kisses him, and he is saved by the power of her love: Gerda weeps warm tears on him, melting his heart and burning away the troll-mirror splinter in it. As a result, Kai bursts into tears, which dislodge the splinter from his eye, and becomes cheerful and healthy again. He remembers Gerda, and the two dance around so joyously that the splinters of ice Kai had been playing with are caught up into the dance. When they tire of dancing the splinters fall down to spell "eternity," the very word Kai was trying to spell.

Kai and Gerda leave the Snow Queen's domain with the help of the reindeer, the Finn woman, and the Lapp woman. They meet the robber girl, and from there they walk back to their home. Kai and Gerda find that everything at home is the same and that it is they who have changed; they are now grown up, and are also delighted to see that it is summertime.