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The Maturation of Bilbo Baggins

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In the fantasy novel The Hobbit, by J. R. Tolkien there are a lot of obstacles the character Bilbo Baggins has to confront. Throughout the book Bilbo seems to take on different challenges, which allow him to mature faster in a way that the Shire would not allow. In the Shire, Bilbo was just a normal hobbit who minded his own business and was never late for dinner. But after Gandalf and the dwarves came knocking on his door, his whole life seemed to change in an instant and it kept changing in a way that Bilbo had no control over.

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The farther that Bilbo moved through this journey the more he opened up to the world. At the shire Bilbo could have been considered a child in some ways because, he knew of no evil that existed outside of his world other than stories he had heard. There are many prime examples of how Bilbo was turned from a simpleton into a hero.

The whole book seems to be a simple metamorphosis of how someone can change just by going through an adventure with new people and trying new things. From moving on to a new life to having to look death directly in the face, the maturation of Mr.

Baggins is definitely pointed out here clearly and should not be overlooked by the reader. Starting out on a new adventure was different for this hobbit, not only different but foreign. Mr. Baggins starts this tale not even interested in Gandalf’s plan. Bilbo does not travel at all, or at least not as much as this journey was calling for. To set out in this journey he was going to have to face an unheard of danger, something he would eventually become accustomed to throughout the novel. “The next day he had almost forgotten about Gandalf.

He did not remember things very well, unless he put them down of his Engagement Tablet: like this: Gandalf Tea Wednesday. Yesterday he had been too flustered too do anything of the kind” Chapter 1, pg. 6 In that quote I feel that it shows how Bilbo is still a child in a sort of way. How he cannot remember things by just knowing, he has to be reminded and when he gets flustered or nervous it affects his whole system. In a way he is compared to a small child before a big sport game, facing the biggest team, the rivalry, because Bilbo is not looking forward to this adventure yet, he still is going to have to go through with it.

The next metamorphosis was in the troll chapter when Bilbo had to steal from the trolls in order for the group to survive. First off Bilbo has never stolen before or even tired to steal from anyone. But because the trolls feel Bilbo is a burglar they pressure him to steal from the trolls. Seeing how Bilbo is not skilled at this at all he messes up. He felt he needed to bring something back from the trolls so he tried to pick pocket one of the trolls, unknowingly this troll has a talking wallet. So in the end Bilbo gets caught and ends up getting all the trolls caught.

Again Bilbo is trying to prove himself to the dwarves, so by trying to get past the goblins in the coming chapters he gets hurtled into a hole and ends up in a dreary under land with Gollum. Here Bilbo has a riddle competition with Gollum in order to try and win his help with getting out of the wet and damp cave. When Bilbo finally tricked Gollum and found the ring that turned him invisible. He now had to escape; in doing this he ended up following Gollum out to the exit and then jumping over him. “No great leap for man, but a leap in the dark.

Straight over Gollum’s head he jumped, seven feet forward and three in the air; indeed, had he known it, he only just missed cracking his skull on the low arch of the passage” Chapter 6, pg. 107 When Bilbo is able to catch back up with the dwarves he tells them everything about his side adventure but leaving the ring out of the story. The dwarves are then amazed by his story and start to look at him more as an equal rather than just a hobbit that was there to get rid of an unlucky number. As the group enters the forest, Bilbo ends up taking the role of leader more often. This leads him into growing up or maturing faster.

When Bilbo has come face to face with the spider he ends up killing it. Then he frees his friends when they also get trapped and tied up by the spider. In this chapter Bilbo proves himself as brave and daring. Without Bilbo the dwarves would have surely died in the forest. “Somehow the killing of a giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark without the help of a wizard or the dwarves or anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach as he wiped his sword on the grass” Chapter 8, pg. 55 Also in the spider scene in chapter eight, this is where Bilbo names his sword, Sting. This signifies he is getting more comfortable with himself as he is maturing throughout the novel. When they get to the mountain and have to go confront Smaug the dwarves naturally turn to Bilbo, although at first they could not open the door to the mountain. This made the dwarves very frustrated and they tended to get extremely annoyed with Bilbo. Finally the door was open with Bilbo’s ability to remember Elrond’s advice. Once again the dwarves would be unaware of this again.

Bilbo is forced to be the one who enters the cave to Smaug. None of the dwarves are brave enough to enter with Bilbo, but Bilbo is smarter than the dwarves would have thought. He slips his ring on and enters the cave so he can trick the dragon without him knowing who Bilbo is. Unfortunately Bilbo makes the mistake of taking the ring off and revealing his identity to the dragon. Also when Bilbo speaks he unknowingly hints at the dragon that he is from Laketown, which then sets Smaug off and he then goes and attacks Laketown.

Bilbo then is the only one brave enough to enter the dragons hall after the dragon has gone. There he finds the Arkenstone and he steals it, knowing how much Thorin wants possession of this stone. Then, Bilbo worries more about the dragon and decides he does not want to be there anymore. Meanwhile, the dwarves are looking to Thorin to find out what to do next. Bilbo is quickly changed from group leader to a quiet wallflower, who sits on the sidelines and just takes everything in. He gets very upset over the behavior of Thorin and company; he believes it is immature and foolish.

Although Bilbo betrays his companions in a way by giving the Arkenstone up to the enemy he still refuses to join them because he feels he should stick with the group. Later on when there is the battle of the five armies, Bilbo makes a statement about how much he dislikes and how foolish this battle is: “Misery me! I have heard songs of many battles, and I have always understood that defeat may be glorious. It seems very uncomfortable, not to say distressing. I wish I was well out of it” Chapter 17, pg. 288

At the end of the battle, Bilbo is by Thorin’s side as he is dieing. He ends up crying when Thorin passes. Even though Bilbo still shows emotion like a child, he is growing up and maturing in a way he would not have back at the shire. Throughout the book there is a lot of things that Bilbo shows us, some of these are courage, honesty and the will to keep going. Not many could do what Bilbo did and stick in there so long. Fortunately he did and by doing this he proved the dwarves and most likely all of the readers wrong.

Cite this The Maturation of Bilbo Baggins

The Maturation of Bilbo Baggins. (2017, Feb 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-maturation-of-bilbo-baggins/

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