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Describe how Bilbo Baggins in the book The Hobbit becomes like someone he hates while...

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denise307 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:49 AM via web

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Describe how Bilbo Baggins in the book The Hobbit becomes like someone he hates while at the end he does the right thing.

 

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted July 25, 2009 at 8:45 AM (Answer #1)

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Bilbo spends much of The Hobbit not being a huge fan of himself.  Becomes like someone he hates by going on the adventure to begin with.  Bilbo didn't exactly heed Gandalf's request at the beginning of the novel, but disappeared into his hobbit abode as soon as he could.  Bilbo is often party to dubious activities that he never would have participated in during his former life.  Stealing becomes commonplace for Bilbo: the blade from the Troll's cave, the keys from the wood elves guard, even the ring and Smaug's cup are stolen items.  Bilbo even commits lies of omission as he keeps the story of the ring to himself (hiding it from Gandalf and the other dwarves).  In addition to sinful activity, Bilbo's weakness is often put on display when he is constantly frightened and must be carried to keep up with the others.  In all of these ways, Bilbo looks upon himself as someone he hates.

However, Bilbo completely redeems himself through the admirable qualities of both wisdom and bravery.  It must be pointed out that many of Bilbo's treacheries are used in the rescue of others.  Even in the case of the ring and the cup, he uses these items to achieve good ends.  In regards to wisdom, Bilbo is continually stumping enemies with riddles:  the trolls, the spiders, Gollum, and Smaug just to name a few.  One can argue that the dwarves are now prosperous and content because of Bilbo's adventures and that many cities demolished by Smaug have been rebuilt as a result of Bilbo's bravery.  In conclusion, any reader must come to terms with Bilbo's various activities as necessary to further the greater good, . . . as well as to further the next three installments of the series.

Noelle Thompson

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