70 pages 2 hours read

J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1937

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Character Analysis

Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, 50 years old, and quite content (as all hobbits are) to remain at home with his kitchen and his garden, living out the whole of his days in peace and quiet. As Bilbo is the principal protagonist of the novel, the world is seen largely through his eyes even as the arc of the story is narrated from an omniscient third-person perspective. The reader can sympathize most intimately with Bilbo as he moves from the safety of the Shire out into the wide world, full of danger and the unknown. Taken by surprise one day by Gandalf and a host of dwarves, he is hesitant to go on an adventure even though he is intrigued by the idea, and he eventually must be practically bullied into departure on their quest.

Along the way, Bilbo surprises even himself by how cunning and resourceful he can be when the need arises. From picking the pocket of a troll, to battling giant spiders, to orchestrating an escape from the dungeons of the elf palace in the depths of Mirkwood, Bilbo continually discovers that he is more capable than he has ever before cared to know.