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The Hobbit

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by J.R.R. Tolkien

Tim's Report


The Hobbit is a very interesting book that was written by J. R.R Tolkien in 1937 and published by HarperCollins Publishers. This novel is about a little hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. He lives in a perfect little town called the Shire. Hobbits are a kindly race of half sized men with hairy feet. They like dancing, eating, and generally having a relaxed life. A wise wizard, Gandalf, has dragged this particular hobbit onto an adventure he wasn’t expecting or ready for. This wizard seems to know lots about the hobbit and sees the potential inside of Bilbo. One side of Bilbo’s family is the Tooks. They are very adventurous and this characteristic seems to have carried over to Bilbo. The other side of his family is the Baggins, they have a good reputation and are very unadventurous. Throughout the novel Bilbo reveals many other fantastic characteristics, leadership, courage, and kindness, and this tale shows how they develop.


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Gandalf chose Bilbo because he saw in him the potential for great leadership skills. He needed someone to accomplish an amazing feat; Bilbo was his choice. Bilbo proved his ability to lead when he pushed all of his companions to keep on going, even when they had no hope. When Thorin had given up, Bilbo would still lead the dwarves to victory. When the Elves of Mirkwood locked all the dwarves up and would not let them go without their share of the treasure, Bilbo found a way to escape with all of the dwarves. Leadership was definitely one of the characteristics that he developed throughout the book. He started out having few leadership skills but near the end he was leading the whole expedition to victory. Leadership is also an extremely good characteristic to have in the real world as well. Having great leadership abilities will make you a good manager, coach, teacher, or anything else that requires you to guide or lead people. If you lack the skill to lead you will have a hard time getting through life, you will want everything done for you and you won’t trust yourself as well. When Bilbo saved his friends from the elves it showed innovative leadership. To be a leader you need to be clever and creative to get people to follow you. Many times throughout the book Bilbo had to use his intelligence to get his way through their adventure. Now Bilbo was always clever, but before the adventure he lacked opportunity to show it. For instance, when he was trapped in a cave with Gollum he used riddles to escape. Also near the end of the book when Thorin was trying to find the Arkenstone of Thrain, Bilbo had it all along. He offered it to Bard the Dragon Slayer instead of Thorin to save his companions from attack. In this way Bard had something to trade with Thorin, the stone for part of the treasure. Bilbo knew Thorin would get very mad at him if he found out; this was clever but also took courage.


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Courage is another very important characteristic in this novel that Bilbo developed. Without this Bilbo would have given up many times. He may have wished he was back in his hobbit hole a lot throughout his adventures but he had lots of courage to keep on going. This is the most developed characteristic of Bilbo. He started off being really scared and kept on wishing he was back at his home. By the end of the book he was tremendously courageous and would do any task that he was appointed to. An example is when he had to go in to the dragon’s lair. Many ordinary people, including all the dwarves, would have turned down the task of entering the dragon’s lair but little Bilbo Baggins had the courage to face the dragon. Another time is when he saved his friends from the spiders of Mirkwood and killed many of them. This quality really builds onto your character in real life too. With it you will take on any task and finish it instead of quitting. Now, the last and most important characteristic that Bilbo exercised is kindness.


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Throughout the tale Bilbo showed one more key characteristic, kindness. Bilbo wouldn’t have done many of the tasks he did, even with courage, without being kind. In the Elf King’s castle he could have left his friends and ran away but his heart was too big for that. Many times throughout the book he also figured out ways that would help his friends the most. Without his big heart his friends would be in spiders’ stomachs or locked away in dungeon cells. Like cleverness, this trait didn’t change much in Bilbo. He was always a kind fellow that liked other people and invited them regularly to his house but in this adventure he had much more opportunity to use his kindness. Obviously being kind in the real world is very important. Even if you aren’t brave, smart, or a good leader you can still have a successful life by being kind. Being kind to everyone around you will make them like you and give you a good reputation. Although Bilbo didn’t need to be very kind to have a good reputation he still was and for that got many friends, including the dwarves and elves.


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At the beginning of the novel Bilbo is very timid and loves his life in his cozy hobbit hole, but through his adventures he changed tremendously. Although some of his traits stayed the same, like his kindness and cleverness, many changed. At first he doesn’t like adventure and isn’t very extraordinary. He is like most of the other hobbits, kind but not very courageous. When Bilbo starts his adventure he starts to get a hold on some of his Took-side characteristics. He develops leadership to lead the dwarves to victory, courage to do the impossible, cleverness to find his way out of nasty situations, and finally he obtains a new level of kindness to help his companions. At the end of the novel he is a hero to everyone and memories of him will last forever.

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