An elf gives the company a choice of singing or eating. How do their reactions fit their characters? Give at least two examples.

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As the dwarves, Gandalf, and Bilbo Baggins venture into Rivendell, one of the elven realms, in Chapter Three of The Hobbit, one of the elves offers to help them on their way to the Last Homely House:

Are you going to stay a bit and sing with us, or iwll you go straight on? Supper is preparing over there, he said. "I can smell the wood-fires for the cooking" (47).

As Hobbits are immensely fond of tales and song, Bilbo would have liked to stay and hear the elves' singing.  "Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars," and Bilbo wanted to hear what the elves thought of his adventure so far (47).  His reaction fits his character well, because even though Bilbo dearly loves to eat and be fed, he is also very curious about elven culture.

The dwarves, on the other hand, "were all for supper as soon as possible" (47).  Even though the dwarves are big singers and storytellers when it comes to their own culture, they are more concerned with their appetites.  Their reaction to the elf's question reveals that the dwarves are not so enamored with the elves as Bilbo might be, suggesting that elf-dwarf relations might be strained.