The Hobbit
J. R. R. Tolkien
Middle-earth
Fantasy - Fiction Book
Section I.


The Protagonists:
1-Gandalf the Wizard
Gandalf was one of the main characters of the book. He was the one the basically provided for and motivated the hobbit and the dwarves to go on with the adventure. He was a very cunning wizard and was always thinking and moving ahead of the others.
Example Number 1:
At the very first of the novel, he went to Bilbo Baggins' burrow to try to convince him to come on a treasure hunting adventure. Bilbo doesn't accept at first, but Gandalf doesn't give up. On the way out of the burrow, he makes a sign on Bilbo's front door advertising him as a common burglar. Even though Bilbo didn't really want to come, Gandalf didn't give up.

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Example Number 2:
Throughout the story, Gandalf would always be there for the dwarves, even though their attitudes and actions didn't really deserve anything. He helped them out when the trolls had captured them, and numerous other times as well. This shows he could still help out and have a positive attitude when the people around him didn't.
The Antagonists:
1-Bilbo Baggins the Hobbit
Bilbo, even though he was the main character, was really one of the main antagonists of the story. Although he wanted to be on the adventure some of the time, the reader should really notice that he complains about almost everything including lack of food, sleeping conditions, things the dwarves say and do, and other little things that are scattered among the book. But he's a good guy, even though he complained a lot. Throughout the story, he proves to be a courageous person as well.


Example Number 1:
At the first of the novel, starting on page 20, the dwarves start to arrive unexpected at Bilbo's door. He had never met these dwarves, and he was constantly complaining to himself about their hospitality. The dwarves asked for some more food, and Bilbo was getting rather annoyed about them eating all his food.


"Confusticate and bebother these dwarves!" he said aloud. "Why don't they come and lend a hand?"
The dwarves were there to invite him to go and get riches beyond his belief, and he was complaining about getting a little food for them.


Other Antagonists:
All of the dwarves were antagonists at times during the story. But at other times, they'd seem really enthusiastic about the journey and would sing little songs while they went down the road.
Section II.


Man (Hobbit and Dwarves) VS. Nature:
Throughout the book, the "Company" went through towns, forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, storms, and even giant spiders. They had to fight through the natural and supernatural forces of nature to get to the Lonely Mountain to get the treasure. Most of their problems came from storms meeting them on their way. Going through the forests and caves proved to be quite difficult as well.
Man (Hobbit and Dwarves) VS. Man (Trolls, Elves, Dragons, Orcs, and Other weird creatures):
Trolls:
At different points of the book, the reader can see the many conflicts with the many different kinds of creatures. The very first one in the book was the conflict with the trolls. Bilbo and the dwarves were walking through the forest when it was very dark and rainy, with little food and no fire. They saw a little light in the distance, and they told Bilbo to go and find out what it was. So he went, and found three trolls sitting around a fire grumbling about the food they had to eat. When Bilbo tried to lift something out of one of the trolls pockets, the troll caught him and eventually caught all the dwarves except Thorin. Bilbo and Thorin try to drive away the trolls with fiery logs. But that doesn't work at all. Eventually, Gandalf returns and tricks the trolls, and they turn into stone.
Orcs (Goblins):
After they "conquered" the trolls, they went on with their journey. It starts to rain, and they find shelter in a cave. But unbeknownst to them, the cave was part of an orc colony. They are captured by the orcs and are held captive. Gandalf, once again, comes to their rescue and kills the Goblin King and frees his friends.
Gollum:
On the way out of the goblin tunnels, Bilbo is knocked unconscious and is left behind. While he tries to find his way out of the pitch black cave, he finds a metal ring, and he meets Gollum, a weird, slimy creature. Gollum wanted to kill Bilbo, but he was also willing to make a bargain with him. Gollum said that if Bilbo won a game of riddles, he would lead him out of the caves. But if Bilbo lost, Gollum won the right to kill Bilbo. But with a lot of luck, Bilbo knew all of the riddles, so he won! But Gollum didn't want to carry out his side of the bargain. So, after Gollum stupidly told Bilbo all about his lost ring (that made the wearer of the ring invisible) Bilbo slips it on, and follows Gollum down the cave while he was looking for him. He finally gets out of the cave, and finds the dwarves waiting for him.
Wargs:
After they are out of the caves, Blibo, Gandalf, and the dwarves venture into the forest. But the goblins weren't through with them yet. They sent their buddies, the wargs (Wolf-like creatures) to capture them. The wargs run them up the trees, and they are stuck there until the goblins come to collect their prize. But luckily, they are spotted by the King of Eagles, and are rescued by him and his flock.
Spiders:
When Gandalf once again leaves his friends, the company finds themselves in a weird forest, complete with spooky visions and hallucinations. When Bilbo is separated from his friends, he takes a break and rests against a tree. But as soon as he does so, he finds that he has been tied down to the tree trunk by a giant spider. After cutting himself loose just in the nick of time, he pulls out his sword and kills the spider. The excitement and horror of the fight make Bilbo faint for a minute, but after he awakes, he feels a surge of courage, pride, and independence. He goes looking for his friends, and finds them tied up by spiders, too. Using his magic ring and some cleverness on his part, he frees the dwarves.
Wood-Elves:
After the spider incident, they look around and see that Thorin is missing. They find out that he has been captured by wood-elves who suspect that Thorin and his friends are up to no good in their forest. Eventually, the rest of the dwarves are captured, and once again, Bilbo has to go and rescue his friends. He works up a scheme, and he frees the dwarves by putting them in empty barrels and sending them downstream to Lake-Town.


The Dragon (Smaug):
The Dragon that lives in the Lonely Mountain, also guards the treasure that the company is looking for. Bilbo enters the tunnel to the Smaug's lair alone to search for the wonderful treasure. He sneaks in, and finds Smaug asleep on top of the treasure. He grabs a cup from the huge pile of treasure, and runs back to the entrance of the cave. When Smaug wakes up, he knows the treasure is gone and goes on a wild rampage. Bilbo puts on the ring and talks with the dragon. During the conversation, the dragon accidentally reveals a weak spot in the iron scales that cover his body. Bilbo leaves, and the dragon again goes on an angry fit. He storms across the mountainside in anger, searching for the thief. He flies toward Lake-Town to destroy the city. Bilbo goes back into the cave to look for more treasure. He grabs a precious stone, and scurries out of the cave as fast as his legs can carry him. Smaug starts to destroy the town, but before he can destroy it, an archer is told about the weak spot, and shoots an arrow into it, killing Smaug.
Man (Hobbit) VS. Himself:
Bilbo Baggins really had to find the courage inside his body, mind, and heart to go on the adventure. He had to fight off the Bilbo Way of doing things, and try to find the courage that everyone wants in some way or another. Near the end of the book, Bilbo goes from "Avid Complainer" to "Code Hero". He really gained the courage and became a new person altogether from something that he didn't really want to do in the first place.


Section III.
The Search For A Dream:
Bilbo Baggins not only was searching for a treasure, but he was also searching for courage, inner strength, and most of all, adventure.
Section IV.
Imagery:
Tolkien uses a lot of imagery in this book. He described everything in great detail so that the reader has a clear idea about everything. When he described the hobbit's burrow, the imagery was REALLY strong. The image comes out clear and strong on every little part. To make it even easier for the imagination impaired, he even included his own sketches and maps in the front and back of the book.
Symbolism:
Throughout the book, the reader should notice that Tolkien is really trying to get a message through, even though it may seem ridiculous the way he's putting the message out. He's trying to say that through trials and tribulations, we can eventually realize that we have the potential to do or achieve something great, but sometimes we may need a little boost at first. At the beginning of the novel, Bilbo just went along and watched Gandalf do all the rescuing. But after the spider incident, Bilbo knew that he had the skills and courage now that he never thought he needed before. He went out after that and rescued his friends many times and that eventually made him a hero out of a rather shy, reclusive hobbit. Also, he won a lot of riches doing it! Tolkien is trying to tell the reader that you can be a "lower class" person, achieve greatness, and get rich doing it. At the end of the novel, Gandalf comes back to Bilbo years later and tells him what a great hobbit he has become. Here, Tolkien is saying you can also be rewarded by the respect of someone that may have been higher than you, or some one who you respected. That could be the best gift out of all. Gandalf says to Bilbo at the end of the story:
"You are a fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you. . . ."
Bilbo really grew up from the first of the book, and that's usually the case if a person goes through a lot of experiences that prove to mold a better person (or hobbit) out of it all.