Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, one of a race of short, timid creatures who live in cozy tunnels and who prefer to keep their lives ordered and predictable. One day, he unexpectedly finds himself playing host to Gandalf the wizard and thirteen dwarfs.
The dwarfs, with Gandalf’s help, plan to travel to the Lonely Mountain to recover the treasure that a dragon named Smaug stole from their people long ago. Gandalf has selected Bilbo to be their burglar. The dwarfs are not too happy with the wizard’s choice, especially when Bilbo faints at the first talk of danger. But Gandalf insists there is more to the little hobbit than meets the eye.
Bilbo himself is not sure that he is happy about being chosen as a burglar. But a part of him does yearn for adventure, and so one spring morning he finds himself setting out for Lonely Mountain with Gandalf and the thirteen dwarfs. He does not prove very helpful at first.
But then something happens that changes Bilbo’s life. He finds a magic ring that makes him invisible and has several opportunities to use it to rescue the dwarfs from danger and imprisonment. They become quite impressed by him, and even rely on him, just as Gandalf foretold.
Bilbo and the dwarfs finally reach Lonely Mountain, the home of Smaug the dragon. The dwarfs send Bilbo down a secret passage to the dragon’s lair. Bilbo has more confidence in himself now and not only steals a cup but manages to hold his own in a conversation with the wily Smaug (not an easy thing to do).
Furious that someone has dared steal a piece of his treasure, Smaug attacks the mountainside where the dwarfs have their camp. Then he flies toward Lake-town, to punish the inhabitants for helping the dwarfs.
The people of Lake-town run at the sight of Smaug, but one man, Bard, holds his ground. He kills the dragon with his last arrow and escapes before Smaug falls, smashing the town.
Believing the dwarfs are dead, an army of men, led by Bard, and an army of elves march toward the Lonely Mountain to divide the treasure. They find to their surprise that the dwarfs are still alive.
Bard, because he killed the dragon, claims his rightful share of the treasure. When the dwarfs refuse to surrender it, the army besieges the mountain. Bilbo tries to end the dispute by stealing the Arkenstone, the piece of treasure most valued by the leader of the dwarves.
He gives the jewel to Bard, hoping it can be used to force the dwarves to negotiate. Bilbo’s bravery wins him praise from all but the dwarfs, who are furious with him. When more dwarfs arrive from the north, they are determined to fight.
Just as the war begins to break out, an army of goblins and wild wolves attack. The dwarfs, elves, and men forget their differences and join together to keep from being killed. Help comes at the time of greatest need, and the goblins are defeated.
Bilbo finds that he’s a hero, honored by men and elves and even given a share of the treasure. But he’s had enough of adventure and sets off for home with Gandalf. Once there, he finds that his house and furnishings are being auctioned off since everyone believed him dead.
Finally, everything is straightened out and he is able to settle down again into his old, comfortable life. Although from then on, he is considered eccentric by his neighbors, he continues his friendship with elves and dwarfs and the wizard, happily recounting his tales to any who will listen.
Themes are quite evident throughout the story of The Hobbit and some of them were more significant than others. The question of determinism is only hinted at in the last chapter of The Hobbit when Gandalf suggests to Bilbo that his adventures may have been completed for some higher purpose. In The Hobbit, the evils of possessiveness can be easily seen. The hobbits are corrupted by their desire for treasure, and their greed almost leads to war with men and elves.
The main theme that prevails in this Tolkien novel is the ongoing struggle between the elite and the plebeians. This can be seen most clearly in The Hobbit. They are weak and often foolish, yet capable of great acts of heroism that amaze even the very wise and the such as when Bilbo stole the possessions of Smaug.
The Hobbit was an epic novel written by the greatest author of his time. The Hobbit falls in the series of books that include The Lord of the Rings and have a full book conclusion to the trilogy called The Simacurilium.
The way that Tolkien writes his book is a way that brings forth the feeling that it is being read to aloud and the reader is actually alongside Gandalf due to the use of vivid words and different literary techniques. The novels are quite worth reading and one is promised that they shall not get bored with Gandalf and all his wondrous adventures.
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