The Sensible Nature of Bilbo and Hobbits

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One of the recurring themes throughout The Hobbit is Tolkien’s manifestation of morality through his inherently good and evil characters. Although, some characters narrowly balance the line of good and evil through portraying characteristics such as greed, the hobbits represent naturally altruistic and peaceful characters. The protagonist Bilbo’s rational nature and willingness to compromise through his selfless transfer of the Arkenstone to Bard and the Elvenking further highlights Tolkien’s portrayal of a simple and sensible twentieth century Englishmen in a fantastical setting. Even though he risks his promised sum of the treasures, Bilbo chooses to work as a peacekeeper to opt for a more sensible way of solving a problem. Therefore, the dialogue between Bilbo, Bard, and the Elevenking is a manifestation by Tolkien of the moral high ground of hobbits and their rational and peacekeeping nature, which impresses the men and elves to award their trust and honor to the hobbit.

Bilbo as the protagonist of the novel appears sensible partly from Tolkien’s underlying representation of a twentieth century English gentlemen. When Bilbo first arrives at the Gate with the Elvenking and Bard, his first speaking point is business. Tolkien describes Bilbo’s speech as a “business manner” where he mentions how he is “tired of the whole affair” and wishes he were “back in the West in my own home, where folk are more reasonable” (Tolkien 292). Bilbo clearly takes great pride in the business manner of hobbits, where he is accustomed to fiscal matters through his previous occupation in the Shire. In addition, Bilbo clearly states his grievances about the stubborn nature of dwarves and other creatures he encountered along his travels by mentioning ...

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...Bard, and the Elvenking, there is confusion and defensiveness over Bilbo’s true intentions. Although Bilbo appears honest and selfless, the others remain hesitant of the hobbit until he reveals his true selfless nature through giving away the Arkenstone. Bilbo uses his dialogue to assure, offer crucial information, and simply convey to Bard and the Elvenking how much the fighting should stop and why the characters should attempt peace. While at first the Elvenking remains questionable towards Bilbo, he later uses his dialogue to convey newfound respect he feels for the hobbit. The dialogue is a further representative to the text as a whole because it reveals Bilbo’s true nature and ability to gain respect and create peace in a tense situation.

Works Cited

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. Print.
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