A Hobbit To A Hero English Literature Essay

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Heroes are everywhere, in homes or cities, and all around the world. Heroes are important in today's society. For example without firemen responding many people could die daily. As one may sees they effect our lives tremendously, because they risks their lives in order to save others. Bilbo Baggins was a small insignificant hobbit, who lived a peaceful but boring life in Bag-End (Tolkien chapter 1). Bilbo was anything but a hero, but inside he kind of wanted to be something more. Little did he know he would then be offered to tag along on a adventure that would change his life forever. However In order to determine whether Bilbo Baggins was a true hero, it is essential to look at the definition of hero, explore examples, and examine various causes and effects.

A subject popular enough to be in many conversations worldwide, are heroes. However, people's opinions on heroes may differ from who is a hero and who is not. Heroes have many different attributes to make them a hero. Heroic attributes are extremely important for a hero, it is the main part which makes a hero. However, actions sometimes speak louder than someone's attributes. This was easily applied to Bilbo Baggins, in the book The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien. Bilbo Baggin's, the main character, was thought in the beginning to not be a hero, but soon proved himself by gaining heroic traits. An important step in understanding if Bilbo Baggins was a true hero is one must define the term, understand is synonyms and antonyms, and examples.

"A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities is a hero" (Merriam Webster Online). Another definition is "one that shows great courage" (Merriam Webster Online). To be a hero many think that one should possess courage like the definition says, although, one can gain courage if they lack in that area. However, courage isn't the only characteristic one should require, going beyond ones limitations and sacrificing themselves and maybe their life can also be a heroic definition. "A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability", is also a form of a hero. As one may see, definitions are helpful in understanding a term. By examining synonyms and antonyms one may also comprehend how Bilbo became a hero.

Synonyms and antonyms are a great way to enhance one's knowledge of any term, in this case the word, hero. There are many synonyms for the word hero, including, conqueror, champion, master, brave, warrior, and a protagonist, although, there are many other closely related terms of hero (Webster's New World Thesaurus). Additionally, antonyms are also a great way to understand a term. Being a coward is the opposite of a hero; being a hero is not a scoundrel; when one is a hero he is in agreement with authority and an acknowledged leader. After reading the antonyms and synonyms above, one may think that these are excellent attributes to have not to have. Then again, not every hero has every one of these qualities, though it may be good to obtain these characteristics. One may now have a better understanding of a hero, but to make this statement even more clear one may observe examples.

There are many examples of why Bilbo was a hero. Since being courageous is a heroic characteristic, Bilbo would be considered one, because, he took a risk and agreed to go on the adventure. However, Bilbo did not start out heroic, he had to achieve tasks, tests, and fix different problems. Just stepping out of ones comfort zone can be courageous. One of the big examples of why Bilbo was a hero was the defeat of Smaug (Tolkien, chapter 13). In the beginning Bilbo wouldn't even have thought of going against Smaug, but he toughend up and became a leader. Though it took steps for Bilbo to take charge and defeat Smaug, because of his actions, Bilbo gained his heroic status.

After examining the definition of the term, its synonyms and antonyms, and examples, one may see that the definition of the word hero shows a little of how Bilbo was heroic. One of the definitions above said a man is admired for his achievements. This is what happened to Bilbo, he achieved something and became admired. Though Bilbo would have never received there without being courageous and stepping out of his comfort zone. The catalyst to Bilbo becoming a hero, was to defeat Smaug, when was done Bilbo gained his heroic recognition. Although it may have been tough to be noticed and to face fears, Bilbo in the end, showed that there has always been a hero inside. Definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and examples are great ways of understanding how Bilbo Baggins was a hero but exploring more examples can explain further.

Superman, Spiderman, and Wonder Woman are all examples of famous fictitious heroes. Heroes that risked their lives, took risks, and helped others and themselves. However, these are just figments, or made up characters. Heroes can be anyone, family, friends, or even strangers. Heroes are all around. Who are heroes? Heroes are people that others can look up to, someone to put ones hope and faith in, people who accomplish great things, like Jesus Christ. By identifying examples of what make a hero, example's of today's heroes, and example's of Bilbo's heroic acts, one may better understand a true hero.

One may ask, what makes a hero? There are many parts of a hero, including heroic attributes. Heroic attributes are qualities that some have that are not ordinary, making them original so others can look up to them. At first Bilbo did not embody any kind of heroic characteristics, but soon began to gain some. Do all heroic actions have to be big? Not all actions have to be big, Bilbo achieved very small things, but also he achieved very big things. He also had very little courage, but he had a hint of adventure in him. Bilbo went beyond his usual hobbit limitations, which was unusual for him. In addition, he also sacrificed his old way of living life, stepping into adventure. Looking at some of today's heroes can help understand more.

A good way to explain a hero, is to look at today's types of heroes. When one thinks of a hero, one usually thinks of super powers, like Superman or Spiderman, although those aren't the real heroes of today. There are countless number of heroes. Including, God, firemen, presidents, celebrities, policemen, inventors, scientists, doctors, family, and friends, and the list goes on. A great example to examine is firemen, during 9/11 at the World Trade Center many firemen responded immediately and came to help (New York Times). Though many people have different aspects and opinions on who is a hero. Some would think that Bilbo was a coward, and didn't have hero qualities, while others saw through him and saw a star rising. One usually defines a hero by courageous or kind heroic acts.

Throughout the book of The Hobbit Bilbo accomplishes many heroic acts. Many think that Bilbo was small and insignificant, but Gandalf saw potential in the little hobbit (Tolkien, Chapter 1). So one may see that he was very unlikely to become a hero. Bilbo slowly progressed throughout his adventure as he took risks. For an example, Bilbo helped Thorin and the dwarves escape in barrels (Tolkien, chapter). That was a heroic act because Bilbo set aside helping just himself to risking his life for others. He also strategized and defeated Smaug (Tolkien, chapter 14). From that day on Gandalf and Bilbo's fellow dwarves, saw Bilbo in a whole new light. They saw him as a hero.

By examining characteristics that make a hero, example's of today's heroes, and example's of Bilbo's actions, one may see that Bilbo's heroic acts show that he is truly a hero. Bilbo possessed great drive. This helped him become a heroic hobbit. Many people look up to friends, family, actors, firemen and many more as heroes. By accomplishing heroic acts Bilbo began to be viewed differently. He was not looked at as a insignificant hobbit any longer, but something much more. Now one may see even better how Bilbo Baggins became a true hero. Though we can also look at causes and effects.

Causes and effects, are in everyday situations, and or decisions. Most people don't just do something without a cause of what makes them make the decisions they do. Effects soon follow; this applies to Bilbo Baggins. Many would ask what caused him to do the things he did? Also, one may think about the different results that came about after the journey he took. Both of these are good questions in pondering on Bilbo's life, before and after the making of a hero. In examining the cause and two effects in Bilbo's journey, it will be evident that this experience changed his life.

What caused Bilbo to agree to adventure with his new found friends? There are many reasons to why Bilbo could of agreed to Gandalf's proposition. Belladonna Took, Bilbo's mother, had a bit of courage and magic in her family (Tolkien, chapter 1). Something "tookish" then sparked inside Bilbo, something that at the time he wanted to deny (Tolkien, chapter 1). Also what sparked in his mind were the treasures he could obtain. Additionally, Gandalf, Throin and the dwarves convinced and manipulated Bilbo to be like-minded and voyage with them. Bilbo soon took the offer, but another question, is, why? Bilbo no longer wanted to be average, but something more. Bilbo agreed to travel with Gandalf and the dwarves, without any idea the adventure would change him. One may now see the causes for Bilbo's decision, however, what were some of the effects that followed?

Soon after Bilbo agreed to Gandalf's proposal they set off on their adventure. Throughout all of Bilbo's journey he whined and complained, but surprisingly he accomplished many things that he wouldn't have even imagined. Bilbo was a quiet and lazy hobbit, although he soon began to prove himself to be something more, one time when he and the dwarves were camping when they saw a light, Bilbo decided to go ahead and search, which was something he would never do (Tolkien, chapter 2). This event effected him very much so and Thorin and the dwarves were astonished to see him take a risk. Bilbo went from scared insignificant hobbit, to a bit more courageous, but Bilbo wasn't done taken risks. Another example is when he tricked Gollum, with cleaver riddles, although this doesn't seem heroic, this caused Bilbo to think and use his intelligence to get back to help his new found friends (Tolkien, chapter 5). After these events Bilbo gained great leadership qualities. He took many risks and started to grow in heroic characteristics, although there was one more test that Bilbo had to undertake.

The last step to being a true hero was to conquer Smaug, the dragon, and take back all the treasures. Because of the trials Bilbo endured, he gained many traits and his valiant character grew. Clearly, Bilbo expanded his amount of courage and intelligence, daring characteristics he would never have had without this journey, because before all Bilbo did was sit at home and blow smoke rings. He became a hero, he was now unordinary in his neighborhood. Although bold traits weren't the only things Bilbo received, he also gained many treasures, after defeating Smaug. The effects that followed Bilbo became many, he grew so much especially in character from the time he left his house till he defeated Smaug. He had to defeat Smaug, which was the catalyst to prove his heroism to himself and his friends, and Bilbo did, he proved himself as a hero.

After looking over some of the causes and effects that changed Bilbo, it is evident, without Bilbo taking the risks he did, he would not have become heroic. Without the little bit of Took inside of Bilbo, he probably wouldn't have agreed to Gandalf's proposition. Though it may seem that Bilbo was the one who needed help, he actually helped out his friends tremendously throughout the whole adventure. Also, because of the many risks he took along the way to defeat Smaug, he gained courage, character, and treasures. During this adventure Bilbo learned much about himself, he discovered a new Bilbo, a hero.

After previously reading the definition of a hero, examples of heroes and Bilbo, and a cause and two effects, it is evident that examples of today's heroes and Bilbo's heroic acts, show that Bilbo is a legitimate hero. The definition, "A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities is a hero", shows that Bilbo proved himself to be a hero (Merriam Webster Online). In addition, understanding today's types of heroes can help one understand Bilbo's heroic acts were genuine. There were also causes that helped him gain a new heroic self. Although first Bilbo was an unlikely canidate to be a hero, he soon raised up and established himself as a hero.

"Hero" MeriamWebster.web. <http://www.meriam-webster.com/dictionary/hero>.

Laird, Charlton. Websters New World Thesaurus. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Pocket books 2003. Print.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. New York: Ballantine Books, 1982. Print.

"Sept. 11, 2001 News - The New York Times." Times Topics. The New York Times.


Web. <http://londonprogram.wdfiles.com/local--files/the-hobbit/hobbit2.jpg>