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The Jungian Hobbit: Bilbo’s Individuation Process in the Archetypal Hero Story The Hobbit


  • Pontus Brandt

Summary, in English

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, is best known for his theories of the archetypes, which are universal and archaic images that are nestled deep inside the part of the psyche that Jung coined the ‘collective unconscious.’ These can be found in art, such as literature, and be extracted and analyzed. The hero’s journey, which is a story that has been told since the birth of literature, revolves around a hero who undergoes transformation during an adventure. This essay examines Bilbo, the protagonist of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, who, develops through trials and tribulations and comes out at the other end of his adventure as a different man. This essay investigates how Bilbo’s maturation can be understood in terms of Jung’s individuation process, concluding that for Bilbo to become the hero he is meant to be, he needs to be courageous, take responsibility and be able to sacrifice himself for the greater good. By integrating his own shadow and by confronting the dragon, he eventually reaches psychological integration and wholeness, as he releases his ‘Tookish’ side – his anima – from captivity and thereby gains the “the treasure hard to attain” – representing the archetype of the self.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Archetypes
  • Carl Jung
  • The Hobbit.


  • Ellen Turner