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What Is the Main Conflict of "The Hobbit"?


"The Hobbit" is a fantasy adventure novel, written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in 1937. The main protagonist is Bilbo Baggins, a smaller-than-human hobbit who lives a normal, comfortable life in the plush landscapes of the Shire. Gandalf, a good wizard, convinces Bilbo to join 13 dwarfs in an adventure to recover the dwarfs' stolen treasure. The treasure is being guarded by a terrifying dragon. On the journey, Bilbo finds a magical ring with haunting supernatural characteristics that allow him to disappear at will. The main conflict helps readers understand Bilbo's shortcomings.

Bilbo's Internal Struggle

Bilbo is a content hobbit who's happy to live a mundane life. Gandalf's request for Bilbo to help the dwarfs get their treasure back is almost too much to ask. The central conflict stems from Bilbo's hesitancy, complacency and timidity. He's unwilling to step out of his comfort zone to face challenges that lurk beyond the Shire. As Bilbo's character and resolve are put to the test, he proves that he's courageous, self-confident and loyal.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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