The Hobbit Social Structure Essay

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The social structure exhibited by the dwarves demonstrates the period progression of the relations of production from a Marxist perspective. J.R.R Tolkien used The Hobbit to focus on how fetishized commodities like gold and the Arkenstone push the relations of production in Dwarf society from feudalism to a bourgeois society and hits at the revolt of the proletariat if the fetishized commodities are allowed to mandate the workings of society. Thorin is the embodiment of the shifts in the relations of production, as he leads the dwarf social structure we see his changes alter the structure of his group in turn making him the chief lord and later the head of the bourgeois. This change can be seen from his view of favors and service in the beginning…show more content…
Tolkien used these changes not to bash capitalism but to enable the audience to witness the shifts in relations of production caused by a fetishized commodity and how it can ultimately lead to the degeneration of social structure. His portrayal place the feudalistic social structure as a better alternative than a bourgeois society by foreshadowing that the bourgeois society will lead to the end revolt of the proletariat. At the beginning of The Hobbit we take notice of the Dwarf’s highly feudal society. The feudal social class was structured around Thorin and held together by ancient obligations that the other dwarves pledged to him. This becomes evident when Thorin refuses to mention service to Mr. Baggins, while the other dwarves all state “At your service” making a sharp distinction between Thorin and the rest of the dwarves (The Hobbit 10). Thorin is described as “an enormously important dwarf” these distinctions between the dwarves set the tone for a feudalist social structure (The Hobbit 10). This is a display of feudalism, as their labor is seen as an ancient obligation. They are in full ownership of their labor but they have pledged to be of service to Thorin because of their linage to him and their history with the mountain. The pledging of one’s labor

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