"The Transformation of Bilbo Baggins" Thoroughly describe Bilbo's growth as a leader,Tolkien's methods of characterization throughout the thematic journney.

Essay by fitzsarah1High School, 11th gradeA+, February 2004

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Fantasy novels, such as The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, are at times difficult for a reader to follow and understand; by definition a fantasy will incorporate many concepts that are unbelievable. Talking animals, mythical creatures, and the used of magic are the norm of fantasy realms. Due to the fact that these aspects are so obviously unrealistic, authors will oft times include some aspect of the story that is anchored firmly in reality. This reality-link is present in characters of The Hobbit, especially the protagonist, Bilbo Baggins. Tolkien used many methods of characterization to create his characters, namely physical description, mental process, and the description of characters' actions. Of the three, the link between reality and fantasy is strongest in the description of Bilbo's mentality and actions. The journey Bilbo and the company of Dwarves embark on is at once adventurous and very much thematic; Tolkien's theme of self-transformation with retention of one's personal morals and values is obvious throughout their expedition.

As the company travels in search of material treasure, Bilbo travels to discover the treasures within himself: those of courage, bravery, and wisdom.

Tolkien disguises his theme as the transformation Bilbo experiences, during which he becomes more heroic and less of a homebody. First, however, the reader must be able to picture Bilbo in his mind, and so the most necessary form of characterization is a physical description. This is specifically appropriate when reading The Hobbit, because Bilbo (and most of the supporting characters) isn't even human. Tolkien, however, does not disappoint. Right form the beginning, it becomes clear that Bilbo is a hobbit: a small, humanoid creature. Tolkien thoroughly describes Bilbo, from his size, to his clothes, to the hair on his feet (and head). The reader learns of the particular Hobbit in question's...