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The Hobbit: Journal Entry 2

In the second half of the book, The Hobbit, Bilbo evolves into a different person. In the last chapter of the book, Gandalf says to Bilbo, "My dear Bilbo! Something is the matter with you! You are not the hobbit that you were." (p. 300). This shows how Bilbo has changed in many ways and in my view has become a better person (hobbit).

Bilbo wound up losing something on his journey. That is, his reputation with the other hobbits. However, I think he gained something better. He was now "an elf-friend, and had the honour of dwarves, wizards, and all such folk as ever passed that way." (p. 301). Though he was not living with such folk, I feel that having the respect of them is more important than being respected by other hobbits, because the hobbits were generally lazy people with little tribute to the world outside of their homes. In contrast, the friendships that Bilbo gained, proved to be genuine because he had to earn the respect of everyone that he encountered on his adventure with the dwarves. The people he befriended all played very important roles in the world past the "Edge of the Wilderness." In order to earn the respect of his new found friends he had to prove himself mentally and physically. He was depended on by the dwarves to be the most clever, for instance, when he saved them from the spiders. They also depended on him to do physically demanding tasks, such as being the burglar in Smaug's lair. Bilbo went through life and death situations with his friends. For instance, when they fought the Battle of Five Armies. All of these experiences with the elves, dwarves, wizard and friends added up to give Bilbo a very satisfying journey. These experiences are something that Bilbo will always have to reflect on and he can think that he truly had been in tact with these people. The trust and respect he had built from the others is something that will not be lost. That is definitely a huge ordeal which he gained. In contrast, all that Bilbo lost was respect from the hobbits who had never tested his qualities or strengths in such a way that they could truly respect him. Therefore, he was not losing much.

Along the journey with the dwarves, Bilbo took on an important role. He had to take Gandalf's place when Gandalf left them to continue their journey on their own. Bilbo had always had to respect someone in hire power, and he expected this to remain the same when Gandalf left, since Thorin was "King under the Mountain." Instead, Bilbo became the leader which is what brought about all the changes in him. He had thirteen dwarves always waiting for him to tell them what to do next. Having these people need him, caused Bilbo to build up a lot of confidence in himself. Though he had no magical powers, Bilbo's luck allowed him to fill Gandalf's shoes. At first in the book it seemed to me that Gandalf was like a fatherly figure to Bilbo. However, at the end of the book, Bilbo and Gandalf were more like equals (or at least much closer to being equal than when the book began). Gandalf says to Bilbo, "You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you." (p. 303). I feel that that is a very complimentary statement for Gandalf to tell Bilbo.

One last ideal which was concluded is about Bilbo being of the Took family. At first, Bilbo was almost ashamed of being of Took descent, and he did not feel like he had, nor did he want to have, the Took genes, which were of adventure. However, at the end of the book, Bilbo did not care that the hobbits did not respect them. This carefree attitude was because he was of Took heritage and he had come to accept and appreciate this trait. The narrator tells that the only hobbits who did respect him after his journey were his nephews and nieces on the Took side. When at first, it seemed that Bilbo tried to stay away from his Took relatives, it is now seen that they are actually the only ones he could relate to now.

Having completed this book, I feel that Bilbo is not just any hobbit. His physical characteristics of being small, slow, and on the chunky side did not put him at a disadvantage. He was able to overcome these qualities and evolve into a good person.

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