The Hobbit: Book Review



The book I read and analyzed was ?The Hobbit? by J.R.R. Tolkein. I shall discuss the plot and character development, setting, author?s style and my opinions about it.

Plot Development

There are too many characters in the story and so it is hard to follow and know each one of them. (There are many dwarves and it?s confusing.)In the beginning there is an introduction where the author tells a bit about what is a hobbit and the hobbit?s (Bilbo) family. It is not very complicated and the author makes it easy to understand. This introduction gives the general background, which makes the story easier to understand, for the plot and its development.

The plot development in the middle is not complicated and easy to follow. It can even be summarized in a few sentences.

The ending is expected since the author gives hints about it. As in the introduction when he says that the hobbit would gain something, this means that he will not die. Then, the reader is not kept in suspense and does not expect to see what happens at the end.

The last climax (or what is supposed to be the climax) takes a long time to occur (the last fight?good (men, elves, dwarves & eagles) vs. evil (wargs & goblins)) and this reduces its effectiveness.

After the climax there is the long return home. It is quite boring since there is nothing to expect to and the reader knows that the hobbit would get home safely. In my opinion it should have been shorter.

Character Development

The creation of the characters is done by their dialogues and monologues, actions and things noted by the narrator (the author in this case) himself. An example for dialogue: ?All the same, I should like it all plain and clear, also I should like to know about risks, out-of-pocket expenses...? (by Bilbo, page 22, it shows that he is not ready to jump into things so quickly). An example for a monologue: ?Now is the time for our esteemed Mr. Baggins, who has proved himself...? (by Thorin, page 210, it shows Thorin?s style). A good example for action is when Thorin blocked the Gate in the mountain that shows the reader that the treasure is important to Thorin and he rather die than giving it away. An example for notes by the author: ?You are familiar with Thorin?s style on important occasions...? (page 210) the author talks directly to the reader and helps him understand the text.

Each character has a physical description. The length and content of the description increase as the character importance to the plot increases (e.g., the hobbit has very long descriptions in the story (especially in the introduction) and the Elvenking has fewer descriptions).

The more important characters get an emotional description too, but it is not well seen, but it can be extracted from the text by analyzing it. The example I gave before about Bilbo not rushing into things is a good example for this too.

The central figure is the hobbit, Bilbo. He is the one that makes many things occur by his mistakes and luck. The author gives long descriptions of him and refers to him a lot, he also made him save his companions? life and without him the plot would not have been the same.

The supporting cast is divided into the more important characters (such as the dwarves and Gandalf) into less important and less described ones (such as the elf guards that caught the party in the woods).

It is hard to believe that the characters can exist in reality since they cannot, and they are not supposed to since it is a fantasy book.


The story occurs in the imaginary world?Middle-earth?created by the author, it is appropriate since creatures that are found in the book (e.g., goblins and dwarves) do not exist in our world.

Since the story happens in many places over Middle-earth the author gives a deep description only in places where important things to the plot happen but in other places he gives a more general description. Most places make the reader have a picture in his brain of them, the author uses the appropriate words and gives good descriptions.

It takes the story about a year to occur. It starts at the spring and ends in about the same time the year after. Parts of the story take place in