Menu

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

0 Comment

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien‎ An imaginative story that is still a worldwide phenomenon, Tolkien has managed to instil ‎some very important lessons in his book The Hobbit. It tells about a journey the Hobbit Bilbo ‎Baggins takes to help a group of dwarves that require stealing back what was stolen from them. ‎Probably the most significant lesson of the book is to explain how sometimes a person can recognize ‎the talents and virtues in a friend that they themselves are not able to see.‎‎ Gandalf, the amazing wizard who is known to be the wisest of all magical creatures in the book ‎embarks on a self-mission to bring his very able friend Bilbo on to an adventure. The story ‎revolves around the Hobbit and his misfortunes and conquests but the real story lies within his ‎friend who keeps pushing him to his exceeding limits. It has been shown very subtly but if one ‎reads between the lines the lesson of the tale is crystal clear.‎‎ In the beginning, Bilbo Baggins is shown as the meekest of all creatures who uses to decline all of what ‎Gandalf is offering. He feels afraid and is very used to the comfortable atmosphere of his home ‎and village. Gandalf does not take no for an answer and even convinces the doubtful dwarves ‎that this is the man that will help them achieve what is rightfully theirs. His confidence in Bilbo is ‎perhaps what lights the spark in the little Hobbit who has serious understated self-esteem issues ‎even though he is revered in his community and often looked upon as the leader. ‎‎ There are numerous obstacles encountered throughout the journey, often life threatening or ‎involving intricate decision making. However, as Gandalf has placed Bilbo in charge of the ‎expedition, often the Hobbit finds himself in situations that he would not normally be brave ‎enough to face. Gandalf defines him, explores him, exposes him and ascends him. At a certain ‎part, Gandalf disappears leaving the dwarves and Bilbo unable to make even a small fire for them ‎to fight off the cold. Bilbo, feebly accepting to take responsibility, goes ahead and gets himself ‎and his group in trouble with three trolls. At this point, there is nothing that he can do and ‎although he escapes, the dwarves are at the brink of death, Gandalf comes to save them. ‎This does not hammer his confidence and it shows a steady side of him that slowly ‎keeps on developing through the story. He steals a key from the trolls that later on help his group ‎get to their layer. ‎‎ Unlike Bilbo’s confidence that slowly takes form Gandalf believes in him from the beginning. ‎He says to the dwarves ‘Let’s have no more argument. I have chosen Mr. Baggins and that ought ‎to be enough for you. If I say he is a burglar, a burglar he is, or will be when the time comes. ‎There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself.’ ‎‎(1: 104) It further embellishes Gandalf’s faith in his Hobbit friend. ‎‎ The old themes of heroism, loyalty and valour are pronounced in the shape of Bilbo Baggins. ‎The central ideology lies in his discovery of himself. On the contrary, it is always Gandalf’s ‎shadow that works on his heart, acting like a stimulant. There are still parts that beg to differ of ‎Bilbo’s bravery. When they meet the all wise elves, the elves notice Bilbo’s gentle nature and ‎reward swords of protection to Gandalf and the Thorin who is head of the dwarves. ‎Conversely, Bilbo’s gentle nature is again revealed when he encounters the all famous Gollum. ‎Whilst taking the ring that belonged to Gollum, his decision to kill the despised small mortal felt ‎wrong when he was in his invisible state (while wearing the ring). It did not seem justified to him ‎that he takes the life of Gollum unwarned, even though it was very obvious that his nemesis ‎wanted to kill him.‎ Bilbo Baggins is not a thief by occupation or by will. It is in fact Gandalf’s convincing that ‎brings him onto a road where he begins to steal, not always by choice. Nonetheless, thievery is ‎not at all a theme of the book. It is just a small part, even though the entire journey is based on a ‎theft they have to make from the dragon. That too is done by Bilbo in the end. ‎‎ It is important to note that even though it is not always obvious, it is Gandalf’s pure belief that ‎brings out the best in Bilbo. He was always the timid one, unable to see anything worthwhile in ‎himself. He could bring forth a million reasons why he was not the person for the job, to lead ‎them into a dragon’s lair. Even when the dwarves doubt his ability to be a burglar, Gandalf ‎defends him. It was his choice, his decision and it was his preference and recommendation that ‎they take Bilbo because he was perfect for the choice. It makes one wonder whether he was ‎doing it for the dwarves or his friend but it provided mutualism between them, since both parties ‎benefited immensely from Gandalf’s foresight. ‎‎ The entire discussion could be sum up with the conclusion that The Hobbit has showcased an adventure story but as mentioned above, it has lessons and ‎teachings in it. Probably the best one is how Gandalf and Bilbo define their friendship. One, ‎who is unwilling to put himself through any test that he is sure he will fail and the other not ‎doubting for a minute what his friend is capable of, even though he is not that strong or that ‎wise. It goes to show just how another person can bring the best out in their friend. Gandalf and ‎Bilbo are that perfect example.‎ Work CitedJ. R. R. Tolkien. The Hobbit, UK: George Allen amp. Unwin, 1937. Print