The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien are studied and analyzed. Tolkien’s biography, his writing life, the origins of the stories, and their publication history, as well as his construction of a mythological world and its peoples and languages, his characters and their development, and his thematic concerns are researched. Finally, Tolkien’s influence on 20th century fantasy literature is considered. (Prerequisite: ENGL100L)