The Hobbit Final Writing Assignment
1. Thesis Statement: Within the pages of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien there is courage, adventure, and a great change of character in Mr. Bilbo Baggins. The Hobbit starts off with the description of what sort of creatures’ hobbits are and the introduction of Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo is just like any other regular hobbit; he enjoys food, doesn’t like adventure, and right at the beginning says, “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner. I don’t see what anyone sees in them (page 6).” This he says to Gandalf the Grey who’s a wizard and returns to Hobbiton after many years on a search for someone who is willing to go on an adventure. Right off the bat Bilbo tells Gandalf absolutely not, he is not looking for an adventure, but Gandalf must of mistook his answer for consent to going on an adventure because before Bilbo knows it he’s off with a group of 13 dwarves on a quest to regain the dwarf Thorin’s homeland from the evil dragon Smaug. I think the moment when Bilbo really begins his change of character is when they were all meeting before they went off on their quest and the dwarves thought he couldn’t hear them, and they started talking about how Bilbo seemed much to small, timid, and weak to be any good at burglaring. When they said those things Bilbo’s Took side of the family won out and he began to find himself thinking, “…He would go without bed and breakfast to be thought fierce. As for little fellow bobbing on the mat it also made him really fierce (page 18)…” This part in the story is when I believe Bilbo began to have sparks of thoughts that maybe he really did want to go on an adventure.
As the story progresses Bilbo at first begins to prove the dwarves right in their views that Bilbo would not make a very good burglar. When they run into trolls in the forest and Bilbo is sent ahead to scout out trouble and then tries to pickpocket one of the trolls wallets only to have it scream out and alert the trolls of Bilbo’s presence. He then gets beat up and allows the dwarves all to be crammed into sacks where they were stuck for a long time while the trolls debated which way they wanted to eat them. In the end Gandalf had to save them and no thanks to Bilbo they didn’t get eaten. After that incident Bilbo began to prove himself worthy of the title burglar. The first time he proved himself was when he and the dwarves got kidnapped by goblins. He soon got separated from the dwarves and found himself horribly lost deep within the mountain, found a ring on the ground that turned him invisible, and encountered a creature called Gollum. Gollum wanted to eat Bilbo and told him that if he wanted him to show Bilbo the way out of the mountain he would have to play the riddle game with him and should he fail to answer one of Gollum’s riddles he would indefinitely eat him. Bilbo managed to better Gollum at the riddle game but Gollum wanted his ring back, his “precious”, Bilbo quickly put the ring on though and he went invisible and followed Gollum to the exit where he escaped past the goblins guarding the door shocking all of the dwarves. They had thought that they were going to have to go back and get Bilbo. Bilbo continued doing things such as this one and the dwarves began to respect him. He helps save them from giant spiders that want to eat them, get them out of the dungeons of the elven king, finds the entrance into the mountain, and talks to Smaug when the dwarves are too scared to. Gradually Bilbo goes from being timid and whiny to the leader that everyone looks to when there is trouble.
When the story begins to reach an end Bilbo is highly respected and liked among the group of dwarves rather than at the beginning when they didn’t think very highly of him at all and he doesn’t stop gaining their respect. At the very end of the story Bilbo does a courageous and very unhobbit like thing. Thorin has all of the dwarves holed up in the mountain because he does not want to share any of his treasure with the elves or the lake people when Bilbo finds the Arkenstone which is a precious gem that has belonged to Thorin’s family for generations and Thorin would do anything for it. Bilbo decides to take the Arkenstone to Bard the leader of the Lake People so that he can bargain with Thorin since the Goblin’s are closing in on all of them and they needed to all join together or be crushed. While Thorin and all of the dwarves did not really appreciate Bilbo for his action at first and Thorin kicked Bilbo out of the mountain for it they soon all became grateful for his course of action because in the end it saved them all. Bilbo’s character does a complete 180 during the course of this story. He began his story being a regular old hobbit determined to live a calm life and by the end of the story becomes a hobbit who loves adventure and is a born leader. Bilbo shows his courage and strength all the throughout his adventure and while at the end of the story he is eager to arrive home as he states here,” The Tookish part was getting tired and the Baggins was daily getting stronger. I wish now only to be in my own arm-chair (page 271)!” He still found himself yearning for adventure and excitement once he got home. Bilbo’s adventure forever changed his life and himself entirely.
2. Greed has been present in the world ever since it’s beginning. We have seen prime examples of what greed does to a person in people such as Hitler or Stalin whose greed for power pretty much sent them over the edge and made them do whatever they had to, to get it even if it meant hurting others. In The Hobbit greed greatly influences the characters within the novel. The whole reason they even go on the adventure is because Thorin wants to reclaim his homeland because Smaug was greedy and stole it from Thorin’s people in the first place. Also while most of the dwarves joined the adventure for the excitement and the hope to bring justice to Thorin’s people, their decisions were also partly made because they were greedy for the treasure guarded by Smaug, hidden within the mountain. Then at the end of the story when they all do find the treasure greed really overtakes everyone because the elves and the people of the lake show up at the mountains entrance in hopes that the dwarves had already been killed by Smaug and then they could reclaim all of the treasure for themselves. What do you know though the dwarves are still alive and Thorin completely holes up the only entrance to the mountain so that no one can enter because he doesn’t want to share any of his treasures with anyone, even though there is enough treasure in the mountain for like 1,000,000 people to live off of for 1,000 years. To sum it all up they are all being equally greedy and all they can see is the treasure inside the mountain. While Smaug is most often seen as the greediest character in The Hobbit because he hoards the treasure all to himself even though he has no use for it, by the end of the story it almost seems like the dwarves, the men, and the elves are no better. They all are so focused on the treasure that they forget their morals and practically go crazy with greed for the treasure. At the end Thorin is hoarding the treasure just as much as Smaug did and the men and elves are outside their door demanding that they share their treasure. There is almost a war between all of them just for the treasure and in the end there is a war but the men, elves, and dwarves all join together to defeat the goblins who are also greedy. Of all of the characters in the book though, Bilbo doesn’t have half as much greed as everyone else does. He doesn’t care about the treasure really and at the end he even gives up the Arkenstone to the people of the lake and the elves just to bring peace between them and the dwarves. Then before he begins his journey home he declines taking all of his portion of the treasure home because he said he doesn’t need all of that treasure and there was no way for him to get it home, so he only takes a small amount of treasure home with him and is happy about it. His actions are completely different from the actions of the others regarding the treasure and he even states that it was almost a relief not to have to figure a way out to get the treasure back with him whereas not a single other person took anything but their whole share of the treasure.
5. Going off the path and doing what you are told not to do is a constant theme throughout much literature. In the story Beowulf this theme is showed by when Grendel goes and kills everyone just for fun which obviously isn’t okay, in Macbeth he does what he is not supposed to and kills Duncan and Banquo which again is obviously not okay, and in Much Ado About Nothing Don Jon deceives the prince and Claudio into thinking Hero was unfaithful to Claudio and cheated on him with another man. In The Hobbit there are many times when they go off the path and do things they are not supposed to. Such as when Beorn and Gandalf tell them they must at any cost not go off the path in the forest but they don’t listen and do it anyway and when Bilbo is told to scout ahead for danger and then come right back but instead when he does find danger which is trolls he just watches them until it is too late to warn the others. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone they are told not to go anywhere but to their dorm rooms because there was a troll on the loose but Ron and Harry did not listen and went looking for the troll anyway to save Hermione. In all of these cases when the characters went off the path it never ended very well. In Beowulf Grendel gets killed because nobody wants him to keep killing people, in Macbeth he also dies because he gained many enemies when he went down the wrong path, and In Much Ado About Nothing Don John gets thrown in jail when everyone finds out how he framed Hero. In The Hobbit when they went down the wrong path and didn’t listen to Beorn or Gandalf they almost got eaten by giant spiders and then got thrown in the dungeons of the elven king, and when Bilbo didn’t warn the others about the trolls the dwarves almost got eaten by them too. In Harry Potter Ron, Harry, and Hermione almost get killed by that troll but in the end Ron and Harry do save Hermione. People never do what they are told regardless of whether or not they know what the end result will be like and these characteristics show through in almost all literature.