The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, was a novel about manners. This essay helps define why manners was significant to the impact of the story.

Essay by chelsea101Junior High, 9th grade June 2002

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The Hobbit Essay

In J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, The Hobbit, manners is significant to the impact of the novel. The main character, Bilbo Baggins, did many things out of politeness, such as joining the dwarves' quest, performing tasks a burglar wasn't required to do, and not killing Gollum when he had the opportunity to. Bilbo's manners had great affect on the outcome of the novel.

Firstly, Bilbo joined the dwarves in their quest for the stolen treasure as a burglar. Bilbo's only requirements as a burglar was to help them steal back their treasure from the greedy dragon, Smaug. When the dwarves request that Bilbo should inspect Smaug's den, Bilbo accepts the duty out of politeness and kindness. Bilbo even goes as far as accepting the duty three times! When inspecting Smaug's den, Bilbo discovers that Smaug has a weak spot. With that information, The Bard slays Smaug and the treasure is now the dwarves'.

In other words, the dwarves would have never acquired the treasure if it were not for Bilbo to politely offer to inspect Smaug's den.

Secondly, Gollum was a threat to Bilbo. He broke Bilbo's promise and attempted to murder him. The opportunity to kill Gollum rose for Bilbo, but he didn't take advantage of the chance. Bilbo is too respectful and courteous to shed Gollum's blood. Bilbo thought it was "not a fair fight" for him to murder Gollum, only because he pitied the thing. In summary, If Bilbo had not been so well mannered and murdered Gollum, the conclusion of the novel would have been entirely altered.

Lastly, Bilbo's entire journey to help the dwarves steal back the treasure would have never occurred if Bilbo would have simply refused their burglar offer. In his heart, Bilbo truly wanted to decline...