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In The Hobbit, how does Bilbo's character change from the beginning of the book to the...

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micahs4evr | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 25, 2009 at 11:24 AM via web

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In The Hobbit, how does Bilbo's character change from the beginning of the book to the end?

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lequam | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:06 AM (Answer #1)

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Three ways that Bilbo Baggins changes from the beginning of The Hobbit to the end of the book are his understanding of the world around him, his sense of adventure, and his desire to live a comfortable life without thought for others. 

At the beginning of the book, Bilbo cares nothing for he world outside of the Shire or outside of his small hobbit home.  But by the end of the book, his eyes have been opened to the world outside of the Shire, and he has an understanding of different parts of the world as well as different people (elves, dwarves, dragons, to name a few) in the world. 

Also, his sense of adventure grows throughout the book.  At the beginning, Gandalf pretty much has to trick Bilbo into going on this adventure, but by the end of the book, Bilbo is much more courageous and willing adventure out on his own, as evidenced by his willingness to confront Smaug. 

Finally, although Bilbo is a hobbit who will always love his hobbit hole and his six meals a day, he has learned how to make sacrifices and how to live without these comforts if he must.  He even puts himself in danger when rescuing the dwarves from the Spiders and the Wood Elves and sacrifices his own comfort to ensure their safety. 

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jeoanna | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted May 9, 2012 at 5:11 PM (Answer #2)

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Throughout Bilbo's adventure he goes from being unheroic to couragous,fierce,confident and heroic, example when he fight off the Great Spider to save his friends (dwarfs) he names the sword he uses to fend off the Spider "Sting" and he says that he himself feels more confident and fierce, from there he just progress to become stronger and at the end Gandalf says to Bilbo,"Something is the matter with you! You are not the hobbit that you were." from that you can tell that Gandalf has seen the changes,most of the changes come from the ways he saves everyone and it also starts when he finds the ring because in in beggining he doesn't want to be an adventurer just to stay at home but at the end he's (Bilbo) glad he did stay and do this treasure hunting adventure.

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thewanderlust878 | TA , Grade 12 | Salutatorian

Posted October 19, 2014 at 7:34 PM (Answer #4)

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The Hobbit is a wonderful story about an introverted, home-loving hobbit who goes on a fascinating adventure with dwarves whom he never would have previously met. 

At the beginning of the novel, Bilbo clearly is a simple, routine-loving hobbit who wants nothing more than to live his quiet life inside his home. He does not want to go on adventures or risk missing his next meal. 

Throughout the rest of the novel Bilbo realizes that there is more out in the world than just his hobbit hole. There are fascinating creatures to meet and new things to try. As Bilbo starts to realize this, he also begins to change. 

At the end of the novel Bilbo doesn't straightaway notice that he has changed. It takes him a good deal of time, and a bit of help from Gandalf, to realize that for the better, he has changed. He has become more adventurous and brave, but also through his new friends he has learned the value of kindness, friendship, and love. 

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