Bilbo's Heroism In The Hobbit

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The Unlikely Hero “Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien Heroism is a very controversial issue in today’s society. Considering the amount of so-called “superheroes” in our culture, countless people are often misled about what a true hero is. They are under the impression that heroes possess supernatural abilities, miraculously save the day and become famous. However, these “heroes” don’t exist in this day and age. The true heroes are often underestimated or forgotten. Men and…show more content…
According to the English Oxford Dictionary, a hero is defined as “a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities”, and Bilbo displays these things throughout the entirety of the novel. One example of his courage is seen from the start of the journey. Bilbo Baggins, a clean conserved hobbit from the Shire, has no desire for adventure or for change. He prefers to stick to his quiet hole, away from the chaos and dangers of the world. Therefore, Bilbo leaving to join the dwarves and Gandalf on their adventure takes a lot of bravery. Likewise, Bilbo displays his courage whenever Thorin, the dwarves’ leader, sends him on a mission. And by the conclusion of The Hobbit, Thorin sees the value and strength of Bilbo and tell him, “There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world” (Tolkien, 290). Another heroic quality Bilbo shows throughout the novel is his wisdom and quick-thinking. When he and Gollum are challenging each other with riddles, Bilbo’s wit and mysterious discovery help him escape and return to his company. Another instance is when he leads the spiders away from his friends in order to save them, and yet again in helping the dwarves escape from the wood-elves. His ability to formulate…show more content…
Many of the great heroes like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and Desmond Doss all had a powerful influence not only on the lives of those directly affected by them but also by those who have heard stories of their courage and persistence. In The Hobbit, while many of the characters inspire Bilbo, the hobbit’s influence on the others is more prevalent. For example, perhaps the character Bilbo Baggins has the greatest influence on is Thorin Oakenshield. At the start of their journey and after defeating Smaug, Thorin’s greatest enemies are greed and pride. But near the end of the novel shortly before his death, a major change occurs in him. He begins to understand the value of others and right before he dies, he tells Bilbo, “Farewell, good thief…I go now to the halls of waiting to sit beside my fathers, until the world is renewed. Since I leave now all gold and silver, and go where it is of little worth, I wish to part in friendship from you, and I would take back my words and deeds at the Gate”(Tolkien, 290). Bilbo inspires Thorin to change by being an example of a brave, selfless hero. Also, through all of the times Bilbo steps up and defends their party, Thorin and the others watch, amazed while the hobbit continually proves himself. While Thorin and his company are influenced by Bilbo, perhaps the greatest people Bilbo inspires are the readers of The Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins of the Shire begins his
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