Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why is Bilbo so timid at the beginning of The Hobbit?

One important point that was raised in class was that Bilbo is portrayed as a timid person at the beginning of The Hobbit so that he would have room to grow throughout the story. I believe that it also makes him more relatable to the audience. The Hobbit was intended to be read by children, and they more closely identify with timidness rather than bravery. Bilbo is rather like a child himself because he doesn't know very much about the wild lands that he travels through on his adventure.

1 comment:

Belladonna Took said...

The Hobbit was written during the early 1930s (during the Great Depression) and published by the mid 1930s. In the UK at this time, people were very conservative with their money and did not like taking risks (knowing the consequences of buying on margin, etc). At first, Bilbo is also conservative in his own ways, making him relatable. Bilbo is later transformed into a bold, adventurous (and successful) risk-taker and overcomes many obstacles. This transformation of Bilbo may have been used to give hope for change to Britain (specifically children) during tough times. If a conservative, relatable Bilbo Baggins can overcome a plethora of hardships, then maybe the next generation (the children) can overcome the Great Depression.