What is the attitude toward material wealth in The Hobbit?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is an interesting question.  There are some that value wealth highly.  After all, it is a treasure hunt.  If you are asking the author’s view of material wealth, it seems to be that it does not matter. 

After all, the dragon Smaug is not a sympathetic character.  He keeps a storehouse of gold, but really has no use for it.  Bilbo likewise is not a greedy character.  He goes along because he is cajoled into it, and he does not really want to be rich.  The treasure is just the end of the journey, not his motivation. 

Although dwarves are depicted as greedy, they too want the treasure as a means to an end to return to dominance.  They need it, more than just want it.  Even the greedy Gollum is more compelled by the ring than voluntarily holding on to it.


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