“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on nor to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. ” Thus begins a journey for the reader through the fantasy world concocted by J. R. R. Tolkien (1937, George Allen & Unwin Ltd). This is a story of a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, a Burglar and descendant of the Took family, who didn’t welcome any sort of adventure until Gandalf took to his door step of Under-Hill.
The story is set in the Third Age of Middle-Earth, specifically between the years 2941-2942. His tale begins in the Shire, home of the hobbits in the northwest, travels across the Misty Mountains through Mirkwood forest, to the Lonely Mountain and then back to Shire. Gandalf is a wise and old wizard who always seems to know more than he reveals and tends to get the dwarfs out of trouble. He was the one who believed in Bilbo’s potential to be a Burglar and got him involved in the adventure of a lifetime.
As for the dwarfs, the other main characters, they are Thorin Oakenshield and his band who go along on this search for riches. He leads them all to reclaim the gold from Smaug, a terrible dragon who hungers to keep it. This in itself is the main conflict; their search for gold. Their greed and want for it clouds their judgement and it is up to Bilbo who lacks it, to help the band succeed. One event in the book is where Bilbo meets The Gollum, as he called himself, who had in his possession an object highly prized. Gollum wanted to eat him as he ate goblins.
They challenged each other with riddles and if Bilbo lost, he was to be the other’s dinner. However if he won, he would receive Gollum’s prized possession. After a couple duels, Bilbo finally asked as a riddle, “What’s in my pocket? ” This left the Gollum stumped, making him lose. Still, the Gollum wanted to eat him, so he went back to get his prized possession which was a ring that could make the bearer invisible. This was the same ring that Bilbo had found and placed in his pocket. Bilbo learned of this power of the ring when the Gollum blurted it out, and this was how he was able to escape.
Another was when Bilbo was sent to investigate noises the band had heard. The noises were coming from trolls eating around a campfire. Bilbo pilfered a purse but in his attempt to escape was caught. His companions heard the commotion and rushed to lend him a hand but were also caught. Gandalf threw his voice to confuse the trolls who ended up fighting amongst themselves until dawn, when the trolls turned to stone. J. R. R. Tolkien was able to create and map out a world like no other. He brought a fresh spin on the medieval tales of dragons, wars, and fairy tale creatures by making them his own.
This impressed me most. His characters are more than what they appear to be at first. Gandalf knows more than he lets on though I doubt even he could have foreseen Bilbo’s part in the grand scheme. Bilbo could be labeled a hero for his part, the one who lacks the greed the others in the band share, helping them to eventuall success. A large theme in this book was greed and how it can affect people. It is a comment on what our world has become because of the greed of men and their desire for riches.
Wars start due to this conflict, affecting the innocent people who can be hurt from the blindness of others. The author’s message is clear when Thorin declares, “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. ” I believe that everyone during their high school years should read this book and evaluate the writing. This is what stays with me most, the author’s use of the English language and how he weaves this magical tale. Each page builds the characters and fashions them into different people than at the beginning.
We see a dramatic change in Bilbo Baggin’s attitude towards his social status. This is a challenging book to understand but it is a challenge worth undertaking. Fantasy readers will feel their in heaven with the lore surrounding the plot. Others like myself will appreciate the artistic approach of the author and the messages he sends. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE JRR Tolkien section.