The main theme is the battle between good and evil, and about good in the end always succeeds (nothing near to the complexity of things in the book itself, but it's only the big line...). The 'battle' is no imagenary battle, but takes really place: In the end 'The Battle of Five Armies' is fought.
The story takes place in Middle-Earth, in the Third Age of it's history. It's a land and time of Elves, Dwarves and Dragons. The story contains the elements of a fantasy story, but in comparison with The Lord of the Rings, is much like a fairy tale (not as complex and thorough).
The narrator is omniscient, but mainly follows Bilbo like a sort of shoulder-camera. Bilbo's thoughts are sometimes quite clearly expressed by his behaviour. You also get a rather good peek inside the head of Bilbo, especially when he's alone somewhere.
The symbolism is that good wants to save the world and destroy the oppressors, but meanwhile evil wants to turn the furtile landscapes into smouldering heaps of ash and to enslave all the people, to blacken the sky and annihilate all living green things that crawl or breath or perhaps just stand upon the very soil.
The genre is alternative realism, it's a fantasy novel and the author creates a whole new world to be experienced by the reader. The reader needs a good imagination to really see the world in his/her mind and thus understand the story. The title refers to the main character and our hero Bilbo: He is the hobbit, and the book ÃÂ¬s about a hobbit, so why don't call it 'The Hobbit'? The book is written in an easy readable way, with a mysterious and old, but not a complex form. In Dutch it's...