In the novel The Hobbit how does Bilbo change throughout chapters 1 through 8?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The greatest development in Bilbo in the first eight chapters of The Hobbit is the emergence of Bilbo's self-confidence in his own abilities.  He begins to see himself, not just as an ordinary hobbit, but as an adventurer--a burglar with skill and cunning.  His quick and clever mind helps him out of scrapes and dangerous moments more than once.  Bilbo learns to rely on himself and his own strength, rather than depending on the aid of others. 

After Bilbo kills the great spider in Chapter 8 "all alone by himself in the dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves or of anyone else," the hobbit realizes that he feels like a "different person, and much fiercer and bolder" (142).  Bilbo's success in defeating the spider on his own helps him realize that he really does belong in Thorin's company as a worthy, contributing member.

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