The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Crossing treacherous mountains, traveling through pitch black woods, soaring high in the sky and floating in a rapid river, all while facing trolls, goblins, elves, and dragons. This would sound like the adventure of a lifetime to anyone, except a hobbit. Hobbits are known as calm quiet people who want nothing with adventures of any sort. This holds true until Bilbo Baggins embarks on an unexpected journey doing all of this and more in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
When Bilbo invites a wizard named Gandalf in for tea he gets more than he expected, 13 dwarves and the request of his “burglar skills” to help defeat a dragon and restore a kingdom. Poor Bilbo, not only what I thought through most of the book but a phrase the author didn’t avoid using pertinently. “You will hardly believe it, but poor Bilbo was really very taken aback.” (pg 225) I think most people felt this way about Bilbo, except for Gandalf.
Gandalf has all of the faith in the world for Bilbo and hops in and out of their journey. I think the best description of him, besides noting how wise he is comes from one of the narrator’s statements. “The wizard, to tell the truth, never minded explaining his cleverness more than once...” (pg. 95) The narrator has quite a lot to say, however.
The author’s use of diction through the narrator was my favorite thing in the book. It kept me interested when there was no dialogue. It would seem as though he was giving director’s commentary of the adventure, comical director’s commentary at that. I found myself just being surprised at how spontaneous his observations were. “Yes, I am afraid trolls do behave like that, even those with only one head each.” (pg. 35)
J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel) Tolkien was born in 1892 in South Africa. He served in WWI and after was a Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. He went on to write The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, and many other books. I think his cultural roots and war exposure are shown through very well The Hobbit.

I also found his use of imagery and how wise his words ended up being very intriguing. Through his words I saw the height of the Misty Mountains and the darkness of the Mirkwood Forest. His common-sense observations offered sage advice. “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something...” (pg 57)
I think the theme, the drive behind his writing of this book is that even the quiet people can make a huge difference. Bilbo was a plain Hobbit, no magic powers or anything special, yet he changed history around him. Even when you feel like you are worthless, think of Bilbo and the difference he made.
Any fantasy lover, or just a lover of a relatable character and a well written story will love this book. If you want to follow Bilbo through his journey “there and back again”, and see the true potential of a Hobbit, I urge you to read The Hobbit. Even a little fish like Bilbo can make a big splash.





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