Bilbo's Validity In Bag-End, Under-End

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Even if we don't immediately notice the timidity of Bilbo's first desire for adventure, his reaction to it emphasizes the point quite forcibly. Even the thought of imagined danger sends the Took side of him into full retreat. When his imaginings are interrupted by the sight of a perfectly mundane fire in the distance outside his window, he thinks of "plundering dragons," shudders, and jerks away from the adventurous thoughts he had been flirting with. "Very quickly," the narrator tells us, "he was plain Mr. Baggins of Bag-End, Under-Hill, again" (16). When the idea of mortal dagner is later thrust upon him even more forcibly by Thorin's reference to the fact that they "may never return" from their quest, Bilbo completely loses control, shrieking helplessly and falling flat on the floor (17). The "firework glare" of Gandalf's staff suddenly lighting the room has Bilbo blindly calling out "struck by lightning!" again and again. The work of Gandalf, the magical story-maker, has shattered Bilbo's secure and comfortable world as if with a lightning flash, and it seems that Bilbo's latent Tookishness stirred up by the music and poetry of the dwarves is simply equal to it. …show more content…
When he overhears Gloin's insulting assessment of him, his Tookishness rises up in force. He now wants to be thought not completely prosy, but he still wants everything laid out in prose, plain and clear, to supplement the poetry.
As we read through The Hobbit, we will be keeping a close eye on the interaction between the Took and Baggins elements within Bilbo's character. The interplay between these two very different aspects of Bilbo's nature is very complex, and Tolkien will steadily resist bringing it to a simplified