"The hobbit" by J.R.R Tolkien

Essay by mushgrooveHigh School, 11th grade April 1997

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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 dwarves. The dwarves, 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 dwarves 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 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 dwarves.

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 dwarves from danger and imprisonment. They become quite impressed by him, and even rely on him, just as Gandalf foretold.

Bilbo and the dwarves finally reach Lonely Mountain, the home of Smaug the dragon. The dwarves 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 dwarves have their camp. Then he flies toward Lake-town, to punish the inhabitants for helping the dwarves.