Throughout the book, Bilbo “grows”
as a character in that he gains a sense of nobility, pride, honor, and courage
as he experiences the dangers and glories of the “outside world.” Before the journey, Bilbo was a home-loving,
organized, jolly, comfortable little hobbit.
He never left The Shire. You
could say that he was much more Baggins than Took, because he was timid and
afraid of adventure. He had tea every
day at the same time, and had many friends who would stop by to share it with
him. He also lived in a beautiful house
that was the envy of all the hobbits. This
was the life of luxury that Bilbo led.
The transition to the new character of Bilbo took place gradually over
the course of his adventure. In chapters
two through four, Bilbo constantly wished to be home. “He wished again and again for his nice bright
hobbit-hole…” (pg. 57). This shows that Bilbo still needed to “toughen up.” In chapter five, Bilbo uses the kind of
thinking he did at home to save himself from Gollum, then steals the magic ring
and makes a fantastic escape. Later, in
chapter six, Bilbo earns real respect from the dwarves after sharing his story
about Gollum, although he left out the part about the ring. This is the first event that Bilbo needs to
begin to believe in himself, and it gives him some confidence to move forward. Next, in chapter eight, Bilbo uses his sword
“Sting” to kill the great spider, and uses a daring but crafty plan to deliver
the dwarves from the spider colony. This
is the turning point for Bilbo because it gives him great confidence and pride
for the first time. He felt accepted by
the dwarves, as if he was one of them.
Bilbo begins to feel responsible for the dwarves after rescuing
them. Therefore, in chapter nine, Bilbo
hatches a (later successful) plan to free the dwarves and escape from the
Elvenking’s fortress by way of the Running River, which sets them back on track
to the mountain. Three chapters later, Bilbo ventures into Smaug’s lair twice
and discovers the unprotected spot on his chest, because he was the only one
willing to do it, which shows his growing bravery and his new role as a leader. In chapter thirteen, Bilbo steals the
Arkenstone, is given his first payment, and acknowledges Thorin as their war
leader, which reveals his newfound loyalty.
Next, Bilbo hands over the Arkenstone to the “enemy,” trying to avoid
trouble in chapter sixteen. Bilbo has a
virtue which many warriors or burglars don’t have; that is, honesty. He tells the Elvenking that “I may be a
burglar… …but I am an honest one…” (pg. 248).
In chapter eighteen, Bilbo is rescued and bears his wounds like a
warrior, and says a solemn goodbye to Thorin in a warrior’s manner, showing his
newfound maturity and courage. Once
more, he displays his lack of greed by only taking one small chest filled with
silver and one with gold, saying, “That will be quite as much as I can manage,”
(pg. 266). Thus ends the journey of
Bilbo Baggins and his transformation.
After the transition, Bilbo has a new attitude, manner, and way of
looking upon the world. He speaks with a
sense of nobility and honor, portrayed in his song as he arrived home. “‘Roads ever go on…'” (pg. 273). He does not care what his fellow hobbits think
about him, because that does not matter.
He was content with what he had, and spent most of the treasure on
presents, and did not focus on himself.
Throughout respect from the dwarves after sharing his
Throughout the book, Bilbo “grows”